Are you a graduate student in the health or life sciences? Do you know what you want to say but find you have a hard time putting it into words? Does your supervisor or graduate committee express frustration over your apparent lack of writing skills? Are you certain that your scientific logic is sound but seem to have a hard time communicating it to those who are evaluating you? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, a writing coach may just what you need.
Maybe you came from a long way away to study in your chosen field, and English is not your first language. Alternatively, you might be a native speaker but you, um, slept through your English classes. It’s okay – it happens.
As a student of science, the amount of mental effort it takes to stay on top of the literature, formulate your hypotheses, plan and execute your experiments, and analyze your data is enormous. That effort is multiplied pretty much exponentially if English is not your first language, or at least not your strongest subject area.
Shortcomings, even mild ones, in your English language skills can inhibit your career development path, if they get in the way of you getting your point across to your audience. However, there is help to be had!
An academic writing coach goes above and beyond
A well-chosen academic writing coach is an editor who can also be like an English language mentor or tutor. A good editor can show you the whys and hows of English grammar, and much more personally than Grammarly can! As a graduate student or trainee, if you can find an editor who can read and work with you on your abstracts, poster presentations, blog posts, manuscripts, reports and eventually your thesis, you will forge a life-long relationship with an English language expert who can help you advance your career with more speed and ease than would be possible on your own.
Obviously a good editor needs to know what they are doing in terms of basic proofreading and editing skills. Going above and beyond, though, counts for a lot. The attributes of a really good academic editor and writing coach include:
- An understanding of the scientific method and the research process
- Appreciation of the pressures of the academic environment
- Appreciation of the education process and the requirements of your degree program
- The ability to listen and ask questions to understand your research
- Being friendly and approachable
So, why me?
If you are looking for someone to assist you in clarifying and distilling complex ideas to communicate to a specific audience, you have come to the right place! I enjoy delving into complex ideas and issues and seeing the big picture. At the same time, I like to organize and arrange all the small details that fit together, like a jigsaw puzzle. Plus, I am a friendly Canadian who loves coffee and conversation. 🙂
Here’s my no-obligation introductory offer:
Send me a sample of your writing (something like an abstract, 300 words or less), and I will make some editorial suggestions for clarity and precision. We can then meet to discuss over coffee (my treat!). What have you got to lose? If you like the result, we can talk further about how I can help you find clarity in your written communications.