In collaboration with the Academic writing centre (UiO), MoZEES RTN organised a two-day academic writing workshop for seven PhD students from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the University of South-Eastern Norway and the University of Oslo.

The course consisted of lectures, exercises, discussions, on-on-one consultations and “shut-up-and write” sessions where the participants could work on their own manuscripts. The goal was to promote science writing as storytelling and to provide concrete tools to fuel the writing process.

Rasmus Stauri and MoZEES RTN in front of a Viking tumulus (ancient burial mound). To the left, a modified Ground Penetrating Radar system can be spotted, scanning the area to prepare for the millennium anniversary of the meeting between St Olav and Dale-Gudbrand.

Better at organising text

When asked what they take with them from two days of tutoring and writing exercises, feedback from the participants was overwhelmingly positive. They all felt that they have become better able at organising different parts of their articles, from the overall structure down to paragraph and sentence structure. Writing scientific articles has become more accessible, it was said, and useful tools had been introduced.

The course participants in particular enjoyed the use of examples from drafts that they had submitted beforehand, but also that writing mentors, Ingerid Straume and Cathinka Dahl Hambro, shared a lot from their own experiences as writers and editors. The outcome was excellent, both socially and academically, and the students were motivated to write, they stated.

An historical venue

The venue of the course was Dale-Gudbrands-Gard, a historical site in Hundorp. Rasmus Stauri, born and raised on the farm, gave an introduction to the history behind the ancient burial mounds on the premises, dating back to the Iron Age, and the meeting between St Olav and the Viking hersir (local Viking military commander) Dale-Gudbrand on the farm in 1021.
He also inspired the participants by telling the story about Gudbrandsdalen Folk high school, grounded by his namesake and grandfather in 1902, a cultural centre for popular adult education.

(From left) Hamid Reza Zamanizadeh, Mathias Henriksen, Agnieszka Lach, Elise Ramleth Østli, Vegard Østli, Halvor Høen Hval, Daniel Tevik Rogstad, Ingerid Straume and Cathinka Dahl Hambro in front of the gymnasium, serving as the course writing room, at Dale-Gudbrand´s Gård.
Text and photos: Katinka Elisabeth Grønli, senior advisor at UiO:Energy