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.
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
This is a selection of resources for those wishing to improve their scientific and academic writing in English. It showcases some online resources including courses, academic word lists, online data bases, concordancers, corpora as well as some diy tools.
Face to face & online courses
VI Escribir ciencia en inglés / Writing science in English (Universidad de Murcia)
AWL and definitions. Academic Word List Coxhead (2000). Around 570 headwords
Test your vocabulary range using Lex Tutor
Collocation forbetterenglish (Sketch Engine SKELL): examples, word sketches and similar words
Word neighbors (different corpora available)
String net (explore patterns)
Collocaid: collocation errors and editor
Academic words in American English (Mark Davies COCA)
CRA (Corpus of Research Articles) Great to test your hypothesis (perform an analysis?)
British Academic Written English Corpus (BAWE) Sketch engine gateway
BAWE corpus (Coventry site)
Web as a corpus (n-gram browser)
Webcorp (The web is your corpus)
Taporware tools (Alberta)
Antconc (Win, MacOS, lINUX)
Do-it-yourself tools & Advanced users
Beautifulsoup parser (Python)
Using COCA (Corpus of Contemporary American English)
For more information on research group and interests, visit our website: Languages for specific purposes, language corpora, and English linguistics applied to knowledge engineering.