EOH 554:

Seminar in EOH Problems

A. Course Information

B. Course Objectives

C. Additional guidelines

D. Technical writing

E. Offbeat writing tips














I'm not teaching 554 this semester, but I'm leaving these materials online for future courses (and, of course, if some may find it helpful).













1) use library resources to access the environmental health literature (minimum of 10 references in final paper),

2) prepare an introductory pre-paper (about 5 pages) and comprehensive final paper (about 20 pages) that summarizes, analyzes, and critiques the literature on a selected problem in environmental health,

3) deliver a clear oral presentation of the analysis in an interdisciplinary setting (30-45 minutes), and

4) ask effective questions about presentations by colleagues (about 5-15 minutes for each presentation).












C. Additional guidelines

Special thanks to my colleague, Dr. Peter Bellin, for these additional guidelines:

  1. Presentation Requirements
  2. Environmental and Occupational Health Resources














The following sites offer a range of perspectives on research and technical writing. These sites are NOT specific to Environmental and Occupational Health, so use what you can and disregard the rest. However, I think it helps to see what the major research institutions are doing (some of it can be disappointing, but all of it is instructive). My real purpose for including these sites is to stimulate discussion about writing -- send me an email or drop by during office hours to follow up on these issues.  

  1. Online Resources for Writers 
  2. Other Online Writing Centers 
  3. Technical and Business Writing 
  4. On Being A Scientist 
  5. Networking on the Network 
  6. How to Be a Good Graduate Student
  7. How To Do Research In the MIT AI Lab 
  8. How To Have Your Abstract Rejected
  9. How to cope with "burnout" 
  10. The Art of Getting Help 
  11. Communication Strategies for Employment Interviews 
  12. The Cool Word of the Day Page 













1. The boss is always right, even if he's wrong.
   (know your audience).
2. It is better to be clear than to be brilliant.
   (trim the fat).
3. Welcome to America.
   (use a dictionary for American spellings, use plain English)
4. The English language permits first person.
   (but don't overdo it).
5. Use a computer.
   (edit, edit, edit!).
6. Your first draft should be quick and dirty.
   (it avoids writer's block and emphasizes follow-up editing)
7. Chapter last: why this paper is important.
   (the conclusion must justify the paper).
8. Chapter 1: the butler did it.
   (technical writing is not like a novel).
9. Use an outline.
   (focus on smooth transitions).
10.Be fussy about your abstracts and summaries.
   (first and last impressions are most important).    
Page updated: 3/7/99