As you are reading articles, do not just concentrate on the authors’ conclusions. Pay attention to their writing style. You can use the same strategies and even some of the same language. After all, part of what you learn in graduate school is to SOUND like an expert.

Use a highlighter to note the following organizational writing techniques in the text:

  • How do they start the introduction?
  • How do they synthesize the literature?
  • How do they explain complex processes so it’s easy for a scientist from the same discipline but a different research focus to understand?
  • How do they caption the figures?
  • How do they highlight their innovation?
  • How do they frame results that are exciting VS not so exciting VS problematic?
  • How do they make transitions from one section to another and from one paragraph to another?

Use a highlighter to note sentence frames that you can also use.

  • In some studies, the formation of x has been reported [3].
  • Recent studies have shown promise in Y [2, 5-8].
  • However, details of the mechanism responsible for X are not well understood.


Demonstration of “Reading to Improve Writing” with the article linked below.  You may wish to open the article link and skim and scan the article before viewing the demo.  Click here for the link to the demo.

Link to Sample Article: Influence of cellular subgrain feature on mechanical deformation and properties of directed energy deposited stainless steel 316 L