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I3: Effective scientific communication: Scientific Writing Course – 21475

(1 day; 1 CP; Spring 2021)

Christoph Handschin, M. V. St-Pierre (PhD, University of Toronto)

Module description:

The scientific writing course is designed to develop and sharpen the English writing skills of students pursuing degrees in the biomedical sciences. The module consists of two parts: a lecture followed by a workshop. The lecture (part A. 0.5 day) emphasizes the concept that effective scientific writing engages the reader and delivers a clear and concise message. The workshop (part B, 0.5 day) emphasizes the practical skills required to achieve clarity of message. The module covers all aspects of the writing process, including syntax, sentence structure, crafting of paragraphs, preparing sections of a hypothesis-testing manuscript, writing of abstracts, identifying scientific questions and elaborating hypotheses. The students are expected to engage verbally in classroom discussion, to participate in group exercises where texts are criticized and rewritten, and to submit personal written work for peer review.

Learning objectives:
The course aim is to encourage novice writers to hone practical skills. The following is expected of students:

  • to become proficient in recognizing and correcting common writing faults related to word choice andsyntax.
  • to become proficient in crafting stylistically pleasing sentences and paragraphs. 
  • to demonstrate competence in elaborating scientific aims, research questions and hypotheses.
  • to master the skills of writing abstracts for scientificmeetings.
  • to participate in a peer-review process wherein the texts of fellow participants are critiqued.

The courses are limited to a maximum of 15 participants.