Essential skills; 1st meeting SO; course objectives
What Skills Matter?
1994 AIP study: industry,
government and academe physicists ranked
most frequently used skills:
problem solving, interpersonal skills, technical writing
A 1996 NAS
Careers in Science study
identified "survival" non-technical skills:
communication, teaching, writing
mentoring, teamwork, leadership Communication skills include
clarity of expression
ability to organize thoughts
a good listener Communication skills needed to:
Find a job; a potential employer wants you to
work effectively with all colleagues;
Sell your ideas to others w/t technical background;
Describe projects/ideas to customers, press or public.
Writing is a subset of communication skills,
Without face-to-face encounter to answer questions
and to use your personality.
Where ideas must be tailored for specific audience:
for clarity & organization.
The other skills -- teaching, mentoring, teamwork and
leadership -- all rely on communication skills.
First Class Meeting as a Sentence Outline
Abs: To sell science-related content to
Nature of audience refines the topic;
Take-home message selects material;
Criticism hones the presentation.
Refine technical content for intended audience.
A different paper/talk for every audience.
First two papers have non-science audience.
Talks and last paper have class as audience.
Use take-home message (THM) to select material
Adjust science level for audience-level THM.
For page/time limits, keep material essential to THM.
A sentence outline (a) lays out presentation logic; (b) eases
revision; (c) speeds writing.
Seek and use criticism to perfect presentation
Drafts will be anonymously evaluated by class.
To effectively use criticism, author must
assume the criticism reflects how well reader
understand draft as written (not as intended by the author).
Rewriting may mean throwing out the draft and restarting
at either topic refinement or sentence outline stage.
For talks, students solely evaluate; common response measure succsss
& difference disorganization.
Epilogue: Skills stressed are relevant for
persuading a known audience.
To develop effective communication
skills for various audiences.
In striving for this objective, the course uses
Lectures on various aspects of writing and speaking.
Two papers and two talks by each class member.
Audience of papers is non-science peers.
Audience of talks is students in Physics 596.
Policy papers at science level of class members.
Proof you can write a resume.
Peer assessment: solely of the talks and partially of the
Detailed instructor comments on all assignments.
Strive to view all comments not as
personal attacks but instead as
serious, constructive suggestions for improvement.
For Papers and Talks
Define subject for specific audience
Limit to tight point of view.
Find useful references In library and web
Write sentence outline
Each (topic) sentence is paragraph point.
Greatly speed organization/writing.
Honing Skills Separately for Papers and Talks
TS = topic sentence
TS is paragraph point.
Each TS is viewgraph's point.
Write ¶ to develop TS's point.
Organize viewgraph to explain viewgraph's point.
Use criticism to improve draft.
Practicing talk improves fluency.
Effectively critique others:
improve flaws with
Uses criticism of others
to improve own talk.
To cite this page:
Imporant skills; SO as 1st lecture; course objective
[Saturday, 16-Dec-2017 17:21:47 EST]
Edited by: firstname.lastname@example.org on
Friday, 23-Mar-2012 15:58:31 EDT