I just started my post doc and currently writing a paper but I don't have any professional writing experience. Is there a learning curve or forums that can help with improving writing skills? E.g. I want to rephrase "The review paper published recently talked about the wide range of.." into more professional sentence. How can I get help on this?

  • 2
    You're a post doc but don't have writing experience? Did you not have to write a thesis? Anyway - services such as Grammarly have been really helpful to me for improving sentence structure and general grammar. Sep 12, 2019 at 15:11
  • I am an MD, do not have a PhD yet so didn't have to do any thesis. Thanks
    – Ayesha
    Sep 12, 2019 at 16:33
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    You basically need to have one or more relatively senior people who can advise you on this now, since your prior experience did not include much of it. A big part of a PhD would have been lots of iterations of critiques of writing papers, back-and-forth between advisor and advisee, which I guess you missed. Sep 12, 2019 at 22:09
  • at the moment there is an course course which is pretty good coursera.org/learn/sciwrite in general a good thing is to join a course a get an editor to edit your writing and explain you what are you doing wrong Sep 13, 2019 at 19:03
  • The review paper published recently talked about the wide range of.." Add a citation to clarify which review paper you mean. Drop recently published (it is vague and the review paper won't be recent when you publish). Be more precise; replace talked about the wide range of with something more direct. Consider replacing the review paper with X, Y & Z, where X,Y,Z are author names. Maybe try english.stackexchange.com
    – user2768
    Oct 16, 2019 at 7:42

1 Answer 1


Many universities have a "writing center" or equivalent that will typically be your best starting point, since it has people who are paid to sit down with you in person and help you solve this problem.

If your institution does not have such, there are massive numbers of online scientific writing courses that may help. Personally, I have found Jean-luc Doumont particularly helpful, and especially his "architectural" view of writing. Different people will find different resources fit their personal learning styles best of course.

Next, if at all possible, make sure that you are partnering with mentors or co-authors who are good at writing.

Finally, read! The best way to understand what works in communication is to be a reader and learn what works for you.

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