This course teaches scientists to become more effective writers, using practical examples and exercises. Topics include: principles of good writing, tricks for writing faster and with less anxiety, the format of a scientific manuscript, and issues in publication and peer review. Students from non-science disciplines can benefit from the training provided in the first four weeks (on general principles of effective writing).
In the first four weeks, we will review principles of effective writing, examples of good and bad writing, and tips for making the writing process easier. In the second four weeks, we will examine issues specific to scientific writing, including: authorship, peer review, the format of an original manuscript, and communicating science for lay audiences. Students will watch video lectures, complete quizzes and editing exercises, write two short papers, and edit each others’ work.
Welcome to the self-paced version of Writing in the Sciences! The course is organized into 8 learning units. We anticipate that each unit will take about 2 to 6 hours to complete. After completing all 8 units, you will take a multiple-choice final exam. For those trying to earn a Statement of Accomplishment, your final grade will be based on: quizzes (20%); Unit 1-3 homework assignments (40%); and a multiple-choice final exam (40%). You will have two attempts on quiz questions, but just one attempt on homework and exam questions. To earn a Statement of Accomplishment, you must score at least 60% in the course. To earn a Statement with distinction, you must score 90% or better. You can monitor your cumulative grade in the course by clicking on the Progress menu.