Science for All: Introduction to Science Writing


Laura Jacobs
Director, Marketing and Alignment Strategies, American Medical Association and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Adjunct Professor

Science for All: Introduction to Science Writing

11 April-16 May | Asynchronous (Self-Paced)

Introduction to Science Writing is a six week course offered by the Society for Technical Communication (STC). This class is offered as an online, asynchronous class, and have the following learning objectives:

  • Examine the importance of science writing and communication.
  • Identify and validate resources in relevant fields of scientific study.
  • Explore communication techniques, story structure, and literary devices used within the world of science writing.
  • Read the best examples of writing in the sciences.

Each week we will use the online platform to talk about what we have read, what we have written, and what we have observed about science writing.

Most importantly, we will use this time to develop specific skills that will translate into multiple professional situations. By the time that this class is over, students will be able to critique the validity of resources, and have the skills and confidence needed to write and edit scientific content for a variety of mediums.

The focus of this class will be writing material that presents scientific information to general audiences. This is important for those who are exploring science writing as a career or for those of you who are exploring content marketing, public relations or writing for general audiences. The writing strengths that we will build – maintaining reader interest and providing understanding of very complex subject matter – will carry over into all of our writing efforts and in the professional setting beyond this class.

Session Descriptions

This introductory week will discuss the importance of scientific writing and why technical communicators need to learn it.

The objective is to become familiar with how peer-reviewed journals are structured, identify the top journals, their process, and how to leverage these critical resources.

  • Literary devices are techniques which writers use to create content that is clear, interesting, relatable, and memorable.
  • We will explore literary devices to enhance your science writing such as metaphor, analogy, onomatopoeia, personification (to name a few).
  • Six Rules for Great Storytelling
  • The Science of Storytelling
  • Why your brain loves good storytelling
  • Structure your presentation like a story

This module will focus on the various forms, functions and features of science writing, including media and press releases, content marketing, social media, blogs and others.

We will explore examples in science writing that encapsulate the elements of good writing we learned through the course, including:

  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Medicine
  • Food science


Laura Jacobs, Director, Marketing and Alignment Strategies at the American Medical Association (AMA) is also an adjunct professor of communications at Rochester Institute of Technology. She is a ​marketing and communications strategist with more than 15 years of health care experience with in-house, agency and nonprofit tenure, specializing in health policy, science and medical education.  She has public relations and corporate communications experience in the non-profit, agency and corporate settings. Laura had a variety of corporate and health care clients while at Ketchum and Weber Shandwick, providing public relations and marketing communications strategic counsel for health care associations, health care systems and providers, and pharmaceutical and medical device companies.  While at Baxter, Laura was Manager, Corporate Communications, and supported Baxter’s global, diversified, fully integrated BioScience business with global communications responsibilities, providing guidance to 20-30 communicators on regulatory issues and program planning for a $6 billion business with more than 10,000 employees.

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