Writing is an important part of this course. Writing clear and concise reports is also a key skill in the workplace. The resources listed in this section can help you become more effective in writing technical material.
Course writing guide
For information about format, and for general hints about writing in the course, see Writing in Ecology (a 32 KB Adobe PDF file).
Help with reports
Two sources provide human feedback for particular writing assignments. More important, however, is using their feedback to improve your technical write skills.
OSU's Online Writing Lab, part of the Center for Writing and Learning, allows you to send your writing project to a Writing Assistant who will help you with such things as organizing, developing, and revising your work. The feedback is general, but free and unlimited. (This service is offline as of June 16, 2009.)
A new service to ECampus students is online tutoring through Smarthiniking. The comments will be detailed and specific, but is free only for the first 12 essays.
I encourage you to use these two resources. If you do, please let me know how satisfied you are with their services.
Other writing resources
OSU has a range of good writing resources available to students. A key resource is the Center for Writing and Learning, which includes some online resources. See the style and citation guides at the Valley Library Web site.
Style sheets from UC Berkeley for citing sources, including Internet sources.
Dartmouth has a very good Web site looking at the many sides of writing.
The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin has a good Writer's Handbook.
Don't fall into the trap of using a slothful shorthand for superscripts, like writing m2 as m2 or m^2. It makes text distracting and mathematical formulae inpenetrable. It is really quite easy to write a real superscript in word processing and spreadsheet programs.
The process for the multiplication sign is similar. Eschew the asterisk and join the ranks of the mathematically literate.
Guidelines for effective communication with e-mail
(adapted from an article in the New York Times Magazine by O'Conner and Kellerman, experts on e-mail writing)
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