Jari Saramäki, "How to Write a Scientific Paper: An Academic Self-Help Guide for PhD Students" (2018)


Listen to this interview of Jari Saramäki, author of How to Write a Scientific Paper: An Academic Self-Help Guide for PhD Students (2018) and professor of computational science at Aalto University, Finland. We talk about how hard soft skills are.

Jari Saramäki : "Yes, I think that there is something to a kind of immersion approach to learning. Because you can learn a lot by observing, by imitating, by looking at things and asking questions. But this is something you need to decide to do. So, you can read a paper so that you just read and try to get the science out of it. Or, you can start reading it as if you wanted to write a similar paper, so that you look at its structure, the shape of its sentences, and so on. You try, basically, to absorb all this information that's in the writing. But you need to know that there is this method of reading. So, yes, as teachers, we should maybe be trying to point this out to students: 'Next time when you read a paper, forget about the science, and try instead to look at the sentences and the paragraphs. Write like a one-sentence summary of each paragraph, and then observe in your sentences how the whole paper has been structured.' So, yeah, we should definitely encourage our students to do more of this kind of immersive learning."

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I am committed to helping scientists write at their best. To this end, I founded the Graduate Communication Services, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany. Here I work in the unique role of textician. Want to know more? Contact me at daniel.shea@kit.edu
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