Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Writers' Lab: Why Writing is your Single Most Important Skill

I've spent significantly more attention to writing about writing in my posts this year, as I started the Writers' Lab. As I was preparing my thesis, and now am working towards my defense, writing felt like a suitable subject to explore even further.

When I read this recent post at Study Hacks, I realized how important writing actually is.

It turns out that a lot of publications, and getting a lot of citations from these, are the most important factors for a successful academic career.

You can rephrase that by saying that writing is the single most important skill you need to master for success in academia.

When I read this post, it felt like a wake-up call to me - and it should feel like that to you too.

Make writing a priority.

Make improving your writing a priority.

Check with others to see if your message is clear.

Check with your field to see if your message fulfills a research need.

And then, get writing again and again!


  1. I disagree. You need to do good quality research, otherwise writing is pointless.

    Writing is a vital skill, but it is in service of good quality research, not the other way round

  2. But is research in itself a skill?

    1. Well I think there is a general skill to research in terms of the way you think, but also there are specific skills in whatever field you are in.

      I spent far more time developing skill in microscopy than in writing. The writing wouldn't have been much use without the skill to obtain good quality data.

    2. I see you point - but it does work both ways: the rest of the world won't value your good quality data until they are presented in a clear way


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