The 18-hour course begins Tuesday May 8 and will be taught by Rebecca Anderson, Ph.D. Dr. Anderson’s career spans academia and the pharmaceutical industry. Currently she is an active freelance scientific and technical writer.

“An integral part of scientists’ and clinicians’ jobs is to share the results of their research efforts and clinical observations with the scientific and medical communities,” observes Dr. Anderson. “That research is used to further our understanding of nature and to advance healthcare practices, as well as to enhance the reputations of the scientists and clinicians themselves. However, to reach these audiences and to inspire change, the information must not only be written so that others can understand and act upon it, but also be presented in a credible form. Editors simply will not publish poorly written research.”

The Fundamentals of Technical Writing course will focus on the strategies, styles, and formats used in various types of technical writing such as research reports, grant proposals, review articles, and monographs. Important aspects of written technical communication such as document organization, selecting evidence, informing and persuading, understanding the audience, and references will be emphasized.

Dr. Anderson points out that “some documents, such as grant proposals, must convince decision-makers to award funds to carry out the proposed work, and writers must compile their research to overcome skepticism from within the scientific community. The more a new discovery defies conventional wisdom, the harder it is for colleagues to accept it. The research must be presented in a convincing and credible manner if it is to be believed.”

Additional information about this course, and all of UCSB Extension’s programs, including Open University, is available by telephone: (805) 893-4200 or on the Web site at

As the continuing education division of UCSB, Extension offers certificate programs, courses, and seminars for personal and professional development on a year-round basis. Courses are open to the general public, including UCSB students. UCSB Extension is supported by student fees and receives no state funds.


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