Writing in the Sciences
This highly rated on-line 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.
In the first four weeks, the instructor Dr. Kristin Sainani 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, the instructor Dr. Kristin Sainani 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.
(1) The Stanford Lagunita Writing in the Sciences course is self-paced, unmoderated, includes self assessment assignments, and offers you the ability to earn a free Statement of Accomplishment:
(2) The Coursera Writing in the Sciences course offering is provided on a monthly basis, is more moderated, includes peer assessment assignments, and offers you the ability to earn a certificate of completion for a fee.
Week 1 – Introduction; principles of effective writing (cutting unnecessary clutter)
Week 2 – Principles of effective writing (verbs)
Week 3 – Crafting better sentences and paragraphs
Week 4 – Organization; and streamlining the writing process
Week 5 – The format of an original manuscript
Week 6 – Reviews, commentaries, and opinion pieces; and the publication process
Week 7 – Issues in scientific writing (plagiarism, authorship, ghostwriting, reproducible research)
Week 8 – How to do a peer review; and how to communicate with the lay public
Dr. Kristin Sainani, Associate Professor of Health Research and Policy