5 Essential Grammar Tips for Scientists

I frequently edit scientific documents for colleagues and clients, and I tend to see a lot of the same grammatical errors repeated by all. Here’s a quick list of the top 10 most common mistakes, and how to correct them yourself!

5. utilize vs. use – Perhaps this could be filed under “style” rather than “grammar,” but it’s a mistake I will always correct in a document that I’m editing. A scientist should always strive to use the most simple language possible, in order to dazzle your reader with data instead of distracting them with fancy vocabulary.

We utilized a high-throughput approach to identify candidate genes.

We utilized used a high-throughput approach to identify candidate genes.

Continue reading

light at the end of the tunnel

Today was special. Not in the big, let’s-have-a-party-special kind of way, but in the quietly special, reward yourself with a pat-on-the-back kind of way.

I felt like I’d been working for-EV-er on my thesis project. Planning, hours upon hours at the bench, and finally, making and adjusting each tiny figure and crafting each word in the 100+ page document that became my thesis.

Yes, today, I finished my thesis. The jury’s still out, so to speak, on how successful this writing attempt has been, but in three weeks I will receive my readers’ comments, and then I’ll be ready to submit.

Even though it seems like there are still so many little steps between where I am today and walking out of Johns Hopkins for the last time, I feel like I’ve already taken so many thousands of steps to get where I am today. Today, I’m going to pause and appreciate the little special joy that comes from reflecting on how far I’ve come from where I started.