In academia, it is often assumed that one will learn by osmosis how to perform sound and rigorous scholarly work. Nonetheless, we postdocs in Theory Division believe that training in the nature and practice of science, grant and fellowship writing, careful peer review, effective presentation skills, and so on, are improved by being explicit, intentional, and inclusive in the ways we address these topics. Thus, we have developed an academic curriculum where once a month a postdoc will formally present to the lab group on one of these issues.
To this end, I gave a talk on how to write a scientific paper, with an emphasis on establishing “value” by keeping your audience in mind. I then borrow Dan Harmon’s “Story Circle” metaphor and use it as a roadmap for crafting a compelling story. Lastly, I transpose this metaphor onto the various sections of a manuscript and briefly describe how each is written.