This one-day workshop introduces the elements of scientific writing, including the preparation and editing of technical reports, scientific papers and theses, and is particularly relevant for scientists (including science technicians and post-graduate students) for whom English is not their first language.


Facilitator - Dr Errol Wood

Writing is a key part of scientific endeavour yet many scientists receive no formal training in scientific writing. Instead, scientists are taught to use a variety of instruments and techniques, many of which they may never use in their careers.

Scientific research demands precision. While scientific writing should reflect this precision in the form of clarity of meaning, this ideal is not often attained. A brilliant experiment may have been completed, yet if the results cannot be explained clearly and concisely, and the reader is not convinced of their importance, the experiment will go unnoticed or undervalued.

This workshop covers the basic principles and practices of scientific writing, including structuring a technical report or a paper for a journal or conference proceedings, the integration of illustrations in the document and using technical language that is clear, concise and correct.

For an additional fee of $150 ex GST per hour, the workshop presenter will carry out post-workshop review of scientific writing submitted by individual participants.

This workshop qualifies for NZTE's Capability Development Voucher Scheme.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • explain the importance and value of excellence in scientific writing
  • produce a report or paper which is correctly structured, according the formatting requirements of the client or journal
  • recognise good scientific writing with respect to clarity, precision, correct word usage, grammar, punctuation and logical flow, and apply these skills to your writing
  • decide on the most appropriate method of presenting results, ie as tables, diagrams, graphs, etc
  • integrate illustrations with the text in a report or paper
  • introduce variety into writing by using appropriate subdivisions, in the form of headings, subheadings, subsections and paragraphs
  • apply the correct ethical behaviour with respect to copyright, due acknowledgement of others’ work and avoidance of plagiarism
  • helpfully appraise the written work of fellow scientists.


  • Justification for excellence in scientific writing
  • The preliminary parts of the document – title, abstract, executive summary
  • The main parts of the document – materials and methods, results, discussion, conclusions
  • Use of illustrations – tables, graphs, diagrams, photographs
  • Grammar and punctuation
  • Use of language for clarity and conciseness
  • Introducing flow, variety and interest in scientific writing
  • Strategies for the writing process, from drafting to final editing
  • The requirements of journal editors



  • “An extremely clear and engaging speaker, nothing was vague or ambiguous. Excellent!!”
  • “Really worthwhile, it's given me strategies and tools that will certainly improve my writing skills.”
  • "I've really enjoyed the course and will apply the skills for writing my PhD thesis (as a short-term goal) and becoming a good scientist with many publications (as a long-term goal)."
  • "Well presented in a very professional way."
  • "Very well delivered and good communication with audience."
  • "Thanks for all the information. It was really worth attending."
  • "Well presented, great overview, useful resources for future improvements."
  • "Excellent course!"

Contact Us

PO Box 79142, Avonhead, Christchurch 8446
Unit 4, 41 Sir William Pickering Drive, Christchurch

0508 ODI ODI (0508 634 634) 03 943 2373

Stay Informed

Receive our monthly email newsletter.

© ODI   |  Terms and Conditions   |  Site Map

Follow us:
Join our Group: