Excellent Academic Writing

4 April 2023,
10.30am-12 noon
Institute of Advanced Studies, UWA

Excellent Academic Writing

A masterclass presented by Associate Professor Elizabeth Tynan PhD, James Cook University Graduate Research School

Academics do not just “do” research, they must write research as well. Academic communication, therefore, is not just data-based, it is language-based. Good data are not enough – the language you use must ensure clear and persuasive transmission of the ideas that arise from the data. Much of the success of any academic document depends upon the reader having confidence that the writer has thoroughly researched and understood the source material and can write about it correctly, professionally and with well-founded insight.

This session will provide some guidance and strategies for writing effective scientific publications of various kinds using strong and effective language. We will examine the processes for producing clear academic writing, and will give some thought to how research concepts can be made clear through critical thinking and robust writing skills. My approach to academic writing is guided by the key word “clarity”, and we will use that as our starting point as we consider how to overcome obstacles and reach every audience in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Associate Professor Elizabeth Tynan PhD is co-ordinator of the professional development program at the JCU Graduate Research School. She teaches academic writing, editing and critical thinking skills to HDR candidates. Associate Professor Tynan is a former journalism academic with a background in both print and electronic media, specialising in science writing and editing. She worked for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) as a reporter and subeditor, and was later Sydney correspondent for New Scientist. She is co-author of the Oxford University Press textbook Media and Journalism: New Approaches to Theory and Practice, now in its third edition. She is also co-author and co-ordinating editor of the OUP text, Communication for Business, released in October 2013.

She is a prominent researcher of the history of British atomic weapons testing in Australia, and her first book on the topic (Atomic Thunder: The Maralinga Story) won the Prime Minister's Literary Award for Australian History and the CHASS Australia Prize for a Book in 2017. Her latest book, The Secret of Emu Field: Britain's Forgotten Atomic Tests in Australia, was published by NewSouth Publishing in May 2022. She has started work on the third book in the atomic testing trilogy, this one focused on the tests held at Monte Bello Islands, Western Australia.