Monthly Archives: October 2010

Scientific Writing

Here is a good guide for scientific writing in the academic and professional environments. This is the Webinar link presented by Dr. Matthias Reumann.

Survival Skills for Scientific Writing in the Academic and Professional Environments

Here is a basic outline for your scientific writing.

  • Introduction
    • Problem statements
    • Rationale
  • Background
    • Previous work done by others
    • Previous work done by you
  • Materials and Methods
    • What you did
    • How you did
    • What you used
  • Results
    • Typical raw data
    • Data obtained
  • Discussion
    • What your results mean
    • Comparison with work of others
    • Significance of findings
  • Conclusion

Take home messages are

  • Know yourself and the enemy
  • Outline first and stay focused
  • Take a break (remember the 80:20 rule) & create inspiring environment
  • Read, revise and your peers

Good teaching

Tools for teaching by Davis, B.G., Jossey-Bass

Here is the table of contents.

Getting Underway

Responding to a Diverse Student Body
Discussion Strategies
Lecture Strategies
Collaborative and Experiential Strategies
Enhancing Students’ Learning and Motivation
  • 21.   Helping Students Learn
  • 22.   Learning Styles and Preferences
  • 23.   Motivating Students
Writing Skills and Homework Assignments
Testing and Grading
Instructional Media and Technology
  • 35.   Chalkboards
  • 36.   Flipcharts
  • 37.   Transparencies and Overhead Projectors
  • 38.   Slides
  • 39.   Films and Videotapes
  • 40.   Computers and Multimedia
Evaluation to Improve Teaching
Teaching Outside the Classroom
  • 44.   Holding Office Hours
  • 45.   Academic Advising and Mentoring Undergraduates
  • 46.   Guiding, Training, and Supervising Graduate Student Instructors
Finishing Up
  • 47.   The Last Days of Class
  • 48.   Student Rating Forms
  • 49.   Writing Letters of Recommendation

Must-have podcast for brain scientists

The Brain Science Podcast, hosted by Ginger Campbell, MD, is a must-have podcast for brain scientists. Dr. Campbell interviews brain scientists including medical doctors, neuroscientists, computer scientists, students, and business persons as well.

You can listen to this. But the best thing is that you can also ‘read’ this podcast since the website provides episode transcripts.


Tips for new teachers

Take-home-messages from the article.

  • Appear confident. “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and, doggone it, people like me!”
  • Be consistent
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously
  • Keep your distance. Neither too close nor too far.
  • Dress professionally.
  • Remember whom you are teaching

Teaching and research

Ten simple rules to combine teaching and research from Tomorrow’s Professor Mailing List.

  • Rule 1: Strictly budget your time for teaching and for doing research
  • Rule 2: Set specific teaching and research goals
  • Rule 3: Don’t reinvent the wheel
  • Rule 4: Don’t try to explain everything
  • Rule 5: Be shameless in bringing your research interests into your teaching
  • Rule 6: Get the most in career advancement from bringing your research into your teaching
  • Rule 7: Compromise, compromise, compromise
  • Rule 8: Balance administrative duties with your teaching and research workload
  • Rule 9: Start teaching early in your career
  • Rule 10: Budget time for yourself, too

The five characteristics of successful new faculty members

Good advice to new faculty!

This was written for new faulty in two-year colleges, but most advice here is still valuable to new professors in universities.

  1. Be humble.
  2. Be willing.
  3. Be organized.
  4. Be collegial. Be friendly, open to sharing ideas and materials, and willing to help out a colleague in need. Your collegiality must extend not just to other faculty members but also to everyone else on the campus, including librarians, admissions counselors, and custodians.
  5. Be low-maintenance.

Verb tense in your research writings

This is from an article from Tomorrow’s Professor website.


  • To describe your methodology and report your results
  • When referring to the work of previous researchers.
  • To describe a fact, law or finding that is no longer considered valid and relevant.


  • To express findings that continue to be true.
  • To refer to the article, thesis or dissertation itself.
  • To discuss your findings and present your conclusions. Also use present tense to discuss your results and their implications.
    (e.g.) Weight increased as the nutritional value of feed increased. These results suggest that feeds
    higher in nutritional value contribute to greater weight gain in livestock. (Use past tense to indicate what you found [weight increased], but use present tense to suggest what the result