PuB 20

PuB 20 - Peers und Beers

On May 19, 2022, the 20 PuB - Peers and Beers took place. Marc Abernathy explained in his presentation where the pitfalls in academic writing are and how to avoid them.

PuB 20: Be the better Writer – 19 May 2022

Marc Abernathy
is a professional editor whose goal is to get your work published and funded.

This time we were able to invite Marc Abernathy as a speaker for our PuB. At the beginning of his talk, Abernathy explained what he calls the "Keywords as Argument and Article Roadmap" exercise.
It consists of three subitems:

  1. Make a list of all the article keywords you can think ofPuB20 with Marc Abernathy
  2. Write out your argument in one sentence using the keywords
  3. Check that the keywords are logically (progressively) in the
    right sections and integrate relevant portions of the argument
    into each section

Building on this exercise comes the first trick. In total, Marc has presented us with three helpful tricks.

Three steps to become a better writer:

  1. Use your keywords to craft your argument and integrate it into sections of your article
  2. Define terminology and keywords and use them consistently
  3. Look for outliers in your paragraphs

Participant voices

"Two words come to mind when reflecting on the workshop: informative and inspiring! Marc Abernathy shared with us a set of writing tricks that made me see scientific texts with completely new eyes."

"Marc showed us in a very understandable way three tricks that can help us for the creation but also evaluation of a consistent and convincing scientific work. I was already able to implement two of them today."

"He was really to the point and the tips are truly helpful for editing our own work. I usually struggle with overthinking it, and I don’t think he took that direction to his advice, but I think a more psychological approach to writing and editing could also be nice. Maybe in a next PuB (hopefully in person)!"

"I found the three tips interesting and valuable food for thought; the atmosphere was relaxed and pleasant from my point of view.
One of the three tips (consistency instead of variety in key terms) was very concrete; the other two (argument and outliers) were a bit too vague for me. For example, showing a corrected/improved version in addition to negative examples, would be helpful."


The 20th PuB was attended by around 20 PhD students from four different faculties. At the end of the presentation, participants had time to ask their questions. On behalf of the participants, we would like to warmly thank Marc for the valuable insights and for sharing his experience.

Here you can download the slides of the talk.


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