Communication Resources

Online Communication Resources for Students and Faculty

The CAPC has compiled this list of online resources to assist students and faculty as they prepare to communicate in a wide variety of genres.

Academic Writing

General Guidance

Understanding Formal Analysis--Getty Museum
Visualization: What's It Good For?
Reverse outlining --Duke University
Managing Writing Anxiety
Managing Your Writing Time
Revising Papers
Conducting academic searches
Developing a thesis
General writing resources
Fundamentals of Academic Communication

Guidance for Graduate Students

Writing Group Starter Kit--UNC Chapel Hill
Shut Up and Write
Dealing with the Curse of the Blank Page
Lessons on the Craft of Scholarly Reading
Demystifying the Journal Article
The Not So Secret Guide to Dissertating

Digital Writing and Productivity Tools

XMind (mind mapping tool)
StayFocusd (Distraction-free, Google extension)
Pomodoro Technique


  • Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks by Wendy Laura Belcher
  • Writing for conferences: A Handbook for Graduate Students and Faculty by Leo Mallette and Clare Berger
  • Write No Matter What: Advice for Academics by Joli JensenStylish Academic Writing by Helen Sword
  • Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace (12th ed.) by Joseph Williams and Joseph Bizup
  • The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy by Maggie Berg and Barbara K. Seeber
  • Air and Light and Time and Space: How Successful Academics Write by Helen Sword

Digital Accessibility

Accessible Word and PDF Documents

Grammar and Style Guides

American Psychological Association Manual of Style
Modern Language Association Manual of Style
Council of Science Editors Manual Citation Style
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Manual of Style
Turabian Style Guide
Chicago Manual of Style
HyperGrammar from the University of Ottawa
Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style

Scientific Writing

How to Write a Paper--George Whitesides
Secrets of Good Science Writing
Writing in the Sciences: UNC
Scientific Writing Resource: Duke University
Writing and Speaking Guidelines for Engineering and Science

Communicating Science Beyond the Academy


American Medical Writers Association
How to Give a Killer Presentation (Harvard Business Review)
Communicating to Engage--Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology
Communicating Science Conference (ComSciCon)
The National Alliance for Broader Impacts
Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science


  • Escape from the Ivory Tower: A Guide To Making Your Science Matter by Nancy Baron
  • Am I Making Myself Clear? A Scientist's Guide to Talking to the Public by Cornelia Dean
  • Explaining Research: How to Reach Key Audiences and Advance Your Work by Dennis Meredith
  • Scientific Writing and Communication: Papers, Proposals, and Presentations by Angelika Hoffman

Media Projects

Third Pod from the Sun
Sci on the Fly
Science with the Amoeba Sisters
The Science Cartoons Program (SciToons)
Science Friday

Fellowships, Grants and Proposals

General Guidance

Rigour and Reproducibility Concerns in Your Grant Proposal - Nature
"Writing a First Grant Proposal"--Nature Immunology
"On the Art of Writing Proposals"--Social Science Research Council
Ten tips for applying to the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship
How to Fail in Grant Writing
Grant writing tips for graduate students
How to ask for a letter of recommendation
Information on applying for fellowships--Rice Center for Civic Leadership


  • Writing Science: How to Write Papers That Get Published and Proposals That Get Funded by Joshua Schimel
  • Writing in the Sciences: Exploring Conventions of Scientific Discourse by Ann M. Penrose and Steven B. Katz
  • Successful Grant Proposals in Science, Technology, and Medicine: A guide To Writing the Narrative by Sandra Oster and Paul Cordo
  • Proposals That Work: A Guide for Planning Dissertations and Grant Proposals 6th edition. by Lawrence F. Locke, Wanneen Wyrick Spirduso, and Stephen J. Silverman
  • How Professors Think: Inside the Curious World of Academic Judgment by Michele Lamont

Visual Communication and Design

On-campus Support

Visualization Lab
GIS Data Center
Digital Media Commons

Slide Design

Quick suggestions
Slide Design Guidelines (American Evaluation Association)
Expert design tips

Poster Design

How to Design an Award-Winning Conference Poster

Data Visualization

Examples of mediocre data visualizations
Dimensionality reduction: t-distributed stochastic neighbor embedding (t-SNE)
Ethically communicating data
3D data visualization tool: Embedding projector
3D data visualization tool: Hypertools
NIST/SEMATECH e-handbook of statistical methods
Tools for data mining and analysis
R-bloggers: news and tutorials for data visualization using R
Slopegraphs in Excel tutorial
Visualizing regression tables
Data visualization checklist
Data visualization tutorials
Visual understanding environment
Sankey diagram creator
Tools to create different chart types
RAWgraphs online data visualization
Javascript data visualization library
Overview of chart creation tools
Catalogue of chart types
Nature Methods perspectives on data visualization
Short list of common data presentation needs and associated chart types
Most searched for data visualizations
Data Visualization Faculty Workshop Slides

Design templates

Rubric based on Stephen Few’s visualization effectiveness profile
Melih Met’s KPI dashboard (visit page to download)
Melih Met’s sunburst chart (visit page to download)
Jon Schwabish’s mixed bar and line plot (visit page to download)
Jon Schwabish’s dot plot (visit page to download)
Dot plot and variants (dot plot, dumbbell plot, lollipop chart)
Bar chart variants (butterfly chart, deviation bars)

Practicing experts

Kaiser Fung
Andrew Gelman
Charlie Park
Jeff Bennett
Michael Friendly
Robert Kosara
Kennedy Elliot
Laurens van der Maaten
Krisztina Szucs
Melih Met
Jon Peltier
James Cheshire
Ben Jones
Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic
Andy Kirk
Jorge Camões
Stephanie Evergreen
Alberto Cairo
Stephen Few
Edward Tufte

Professional Scientific Illustrators

Victor Leshyk
Ella Marushchenko
Mary O'Reilly
International Association of Astronomical Artists
Guild of Natural Illustrators


Design and visual thinking

  • Syllabus by Lynda BarryThe Doodle Revolution by Sunni Lee Brown
  • Design for Hackers by David Kadavy
  • Slide:ology by Nancy Duarte

Data visualization

  • Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward Tufte
  • Elements of Graphing Data by William S. Cleveland
  • Information Visualization by Colin WareNow You See It by Stephen Few
  • Show Me the Numbers by Stephen Few
  • Creating More Effective Charts by Naomi Robbins
  • Presenting Data Effectively by Stephanie Evergreen
  • Effective Data Visualization by Stephanie Evergreen
  • Story Telling with Data by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic
  • Data at Work by Jorge Camões
  • The Truthful Art by Alberto Cairo
  • The Functional Art by Alberto Cairo

Professional Communication

How to Write a Teaching Statement that Shines
How to Write a Statement of Teaching Philosophy
The Dreaded Teaching Statement: Eight Pitfalls
Research Statements - Cornell
Research Statements
CV Recommended Conventions
Academic Cover Letters
How to Write a Cover Letter - Novoresume
Julian Treasure, "How to speak so that people want to listen" (TEDGlobal)
5 Things Every Presenter Should Know About People
Tips on Writing an Academic Cover Letter
Guide to Cover Letter Writing for Jobs in Industry (Rice CCL)
Tips on Crafting a CV
Guide to Resume Writing (Rice CCL)

Academic Presentations

How to Prepare the Most Effective Conference Presentations: A Futures Initiative Discussion
3MT Rice
SCREECH Rice Center for Engineering Leadership Research Pitch Competition
90-Second Thesis Competition
Oral Presentations in Science

English As a Second Language

General Guidance

Vocabulary Building: The New Academic Word List
Resources, Handouts and Exercises from Purdue

Recommended Handbooks for Purchase

Grammar Choices for Graduate and Professional Writers by Nigel Caplan
Academic Writing for Graduate Students by John Swales and Christine Feak

Blogs About Writing & Communication

The Professor is in: Pearls of Wisdom
Grammar Girl
The Thesis Whisperer
Lingua Franca: Language and Writing in Academe
Explorations of Style
Creative Research Communications