Scientific Writing



TRN478 explores written scientific communication, in a variety of styles and genres, in order to understand and apply effective rhetorical strategies, in particular, for non-scientific audiences. To this end, we will be reading and analyzing a variety of scientific texts/documents throughout the semester, which will model clear scientific communication and effective strategies/devices. Such an understanding will allow us to learn to become better writers and editors of our own work, as well as how to clearly and concisely express/convey our own scientific ideas/discoveries/problems/stories in a way that engages readers. We will be working on both the: micro level, learning how to communicate actively, precisely, and concisely, taking into clear account the particular audience, register, and tone; and on the macro level, learning how to structure our ideas in a compelling way, according to specific audience.

Established by a gift in 2014 by Trinity alumna Anne Steacy, the science writing course offers students the opportunity to focus on writing for a diversity of non-scientific audiences and writing styles.


Jessica Gardiner

Jessica Gardiner has worked in writing centres and programs at the University of Toronto for the past twenty years, where she has helped students develop their analytical and written communication skills for assignments in the humanities, the professions (law, engineering, performance) and the sciences. Her work as a lecturer for the Engineering Communication Program included classes that taught writing principles to students in Chemical Engineering, Engineering Science and Engineering and Computer Science classes. A graduate of the University of Toronto’s Graduate Centre for Study of Drama (MA, PhD) and the conservatoire program for actors at the Guildford School of Acting (University of Surrey – UK), she has used her training as an actor to design and teach workshops in oral presentation skills for the School of Graduate Studies, Woodsworth College and the Department of Engineering. She is currently Acting Director for the Trinity College Writing Centre. Her goal in teaching TRN 478 is that students will explore the strategies scientists use to communicate their work to a non-specialist audience while learning how to share their own research with clarity, creativity and confidence.