FemaleScienceProfessor’s grad students are Literally Doomed. Many have gone through high school and college without mastering basic writing skills.
Should we encourage our grad students to take additional writing courses in the English department? No, this doesn’t typically tend to help with science writing, although it may help with some of the most appalling problems with grammar.
Should we assign a lot of writing in our undergrad and grad science classes? We already do this in some classes, but other classes can’t reasonably incorporate a writing component.
Should we, as grad advisers, continue to work on writing issues with our advisees? Yes, of course we should, but this is likely to continue to be a major effort without dramatic positive effect for some students.
The professor and her colleagues “see no difference in the writing skills of graduates of elite liberal arts colleges vs. large universities, public or private.”