Communicating Rocks: Writing, Speaking, and Thinking About Geology

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Communicating Rocks: Writing, Speaking, and Thinking About Geology
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Scientific endeavor begins with asking questions about the nature of the world around us and gathering data, but this work cannot be complete without effectively communicating the conclusions and data found. Communicating Rocks: Writing, Speaking, and Thinking about Geology not only makes the case for balancing science with writing and speaking, but makes the case that one cannot have the former without the latter. Instruction concerning the rules and styles of writing and speaking are addressed in relation to technical concerns specific to the Earth sciences, illustrating the importance of effective communication in geologic investigations.


•    Rules of writing and grammar, rules of geology, and rules of style are presented to convey that the complete geologist understands not only geology, but also chemistry, physics, biology, and mathematics-and knows how to effectively communicate on these topics with others.

•    Guidance on how to create an effective research paper is provided.

•    The creation of PowerPoints, posters, a thesis, funding proposals, and more is covered in detail.

Table of Contents

1. Communication equals thinking    
2. Written communication    
    2.1 Types of written communication    
    2.2 Problem words and concepts    
    2.3 Examples    
3. Oral communication    
    3.1 An illustrated talk in front of a seated audience    
    3.2 The poster presentation    
4 Writing is hard    


Peter Copeland has been a professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Houston since 1990. His research interests include primarily geochemistry and tectonics. He is a fellow of the Geological Society of America and from 2000-2004 he was Editor of the GSA Bulletin.

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