SURF Writing Workshops

These workshops are open to students doing undergraduate research at Caltech via Student-Faculty Programs. Please contact us at lilien@caltech.edu if you have any questions about your eligibility. 

All qualified students will be invited by email to register for the entire series. 

Registering for the entire series gives you access to any of the workshops below, but it does not obligate you to attend all the workshops. 

WRITE YOUR WAY INTO GRAD SCHOOL

TUES, JUNE 15, 4PM PDT

This workshop will help you tackle the all-important graduate school Statement of Purpose (SOP). We will cover the rhetorical goals of the SOP and discuss some approaches to writing YOUR best statement yet. 

Plan to attend this event? You may also be interested in our Statement of Purpose Personal Training Sessions!

FROM RESEARCH TO REPORT: ELEMENTS OF A SCIENTIFIC PAPER

Part 1: TUES, JUN 22, 4PM PDT
Part 2: WED, JUN 23, 4PM PDT

This 2-part workshop series will introduce students to the fundamentals of composing a scientific paper. Topics include the rhetorical features of STEM writing and tools & techniques for writing your interim and final reports. Part 1 will cover the overall report, abstract, and introduction. Part 2 will cover the methods, results, and discussion/conclusion. 

EDIT WITHOUT MERCY
TUES, JUN 29, 4PM PDT

Writing about your research is critical to your work as a scientist. But how do you clearly and effectively communicate all those complex scientific ideas? In this workshop, we will discuss how to achieve clarity in your scientific writing. We'll cover: 1) what grammatical features tend to make writing unclear, 2) how to develop a critical eye for recognizing when writing is weak, and 3) key strategies for targeting and editing unclear writing.


HOW TO WRITE AN EFFECTIVE RESEARCH ABSTRACT
TUES, JULY 13, 4PM PDT

Abstracts are fundamental to many academic fields, and can determine whether people will read your research paper or whether your work will be accepted into a conference. Their brevity can make them particularly challenging to write. This workshop will turn the challenge of writing a successful and effective research abstract into a manageable and writable task. 


A FIGURE IS WORTH 1,000 WORDS

TUES, JULY 20, 4PM PDT

A well-designed figure can help you with the heavy lifting of communicating scientific work. Learn the essentials behind strong visual rhetoric, including clarity, organization, and graphic design principles.

THE ART OF TALKING SCIENCE with DR. ROBYN JAVIER
TUES, AUG 3, 4PM PDT

This workshop will guide you through the process of creating a successful research presentation. Topics will include strategies for organizing your ideas, tailoring content for specific audiences, and developing effective slides. 


THE SCIENCE POSTER WORKSHOP
TUES, AUG 10, 4PM PDT

This workshop will guide you through the principles and process of creating effective scientific posters for research conferences.