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Business & Technical Writing/Professional/Technical Writing in the Science field



I am a Senior at the University of Colorado, and I am graduating in December with a Bachelor's of Science in Biology, as well as a minor in Professional and Technical Writing. I am one of only about five students in the school's PTW program who are minoring in PTW with a major in the Sciences, and I have not yet discovered a career that could put my Biology knowledge as well as my PTW skills to use.

I am contacting you wondering if you can supply me with some advice for a career in which I could work in the Biology field, as well as use my technical writing skills. I am quickly learning that PTW skills are useful in nearly every career. Are there any careers that you know of that involve Biology and Technical Writing?

Thank you for your time.


Hi Erin,

As it happens, I am an avid birder and have several friends both with and without degrees in biology (they're just really expert birders with good knowledge of plants and other wildlife) who work as field biologists developing parts of environmental impact statements by doing surveys of plant flora and fauna on and around sites where major developments such as wind farms, mines, and solar projects are being proposed. Some of them stay pretty busy. The downside is that such work is generally contract and on a project basis, so there are gaps in work and income. But there are companies (and you'll just have to look them up) that do have regular employees that they deploy on such projects. And, sometimes the stipend for a field survey project that takes several months or a year or more can be enough to tide you over the in-between times. Virtually any work you find in biology will require that you write reports of some sort.

You are correct that your writing skills will be useful in virtually anything you might do. I have often told people this about writing and language use in general: Language is the primary tool with which we think. If we don't use it well, we can't possibly think well. Writing well is practice in thinking well.

Hope this helps.

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Dan Smith


I have been a professional writer and editor for more than 30 years, taught speech and English composition at the university level, and have developed speech and English composition courses and seminars for businesses. I am experienced in editing a wide variety of materials, especially business, scientific, and other academic papers. I am familiar with all the major style guides.


I have edited any number of graduate papers and other technical materials in such advanced fields as clinical psychology, civil and electrical engineering, and semiconductor fabrication. I have extensive experience in working with non-native English speakers.

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