Writing in the Sciences

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Description

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About this course: 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, peer review, grant writing, ethical issues in scientific publication, and writing for general audiences.

Who is this class for: This course is for undergraduate and graduate students; medical students; scientists; medical professionals; and science writers.

Created by:  Stanford University
  • Taught by:  Dr. Kristin Sainani, Associate Professor

    Health Research and Policy
Level Beginner Commitment 8 weeks of …

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: 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, peer review, grant writing, ethical issues in scientific publication, and writing for general audiences.

Who is this class for: This course is for undergraduate and graduate students; medical students; scientists; medical professionals; and science writers.

Created by:  Stanford University
  • Taught by:  Dr. Kristin Sainani, Associate Professor

    Health Research and Policy
Level Beginner Commitment 8 weeks of study, 3-5 hours/week Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. Coursework

Each course is like an interactive textbook, featuring pre-recorded videos, quizzes and projects.

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Stanford University The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is an American private research university located in Stanford, California on an 8,180-acre (3,310 ha) campus near Palo Alto, California, United States.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


1
Unit 1 introduces the course and reviews key principles of effective writing. In particular, you will practice cutting clutter from writing.


7 videos expand


  1. Video: 1.1: Introduction; principles of effective writing
  2. Video: 1.2: Examples of what not to do
  3. Video: 1.3: Overview, principles of effective writing
  4. Video: 1.4: Cut the clutter
  5. Video: 1.5: Cut the clutter, more tricks
  6. Video: 1.6: Practicing cutting clutter
  7. Video: Demo Edit 1 (Optional)

Graded: Unit 1 Homework

WEEK 2


2
Unit 2 focuses on writing with strong, active verbs. Lessons include how to: write in the active voice; avoid turning verbs into nouns; choose strong verbs; and get to the main verb of a sentence quickly.


7 videos expand


  1. Video: 2.1: Use the active voice
  2. Video: 2.2: Is it really OK to use "We" and "I"
  3. Video: 2.3: Active voice practice
  4. Video: 2.4: Write with verbs
  5. Video: 2.5: Practice examples
  6. Video: 2.6: A few grammar tips
  7. Video: Demo Edit 2 (Optional)

Graded: Unit 2 Homework

WEEK 3


3
Unit 3 reviews how to vary sentence structure and write strong paragraphs. You will practice using the dash, colon, semi-colon, and parentheses, as well as writing well-organized and concise paragraphs.


8 videos expand


  1. Video: 3.1: Experiment with punctuation
  2. Video: 3.2: Practice, colon and dash
  3. Video: 3.3: Parallelism
  4. Video: 3.4: Paragraphs
  5. Video: 3.5: Paragraph Editing I
  6. Video: 3.6: Paragraph Editing II
  7. Video: Module 3.7: A few more tips
  8. Video: Demo Edit 3 (Optional)

Graded: Unit 3 Homework
Graded: Paragraph editing exercise

WEEK 4


4
Unit 4 reviews the writing process. I will give you tips for making the writing process easier, more efficient, and more organized.


7 videos expand


  1. Video: 4.1 paragraph practice
  2. Video: 4.2 Overview of the writing process
  3. Video: 4.3 The pre-writing step
  4. Video: 4.4 The writing step
  5. Video: 4.5: Revision
  6. Video: 4.6: Checklist for the final draft
  7. Video: Demo Edit 4 (Optional)

Graded: Unit 4 Homework

WEEK 5


5
Unit 5 reviews the sections of a scientific manuscript. You will learn how to format tables and figures, and how to write results, methods, introduction, and discussion sections.


9 videos expand


  1. Video: 5.1: Tables and Figures
  2. Video: 5.2: Results
  3. Video: 5.3: Practice writing results
  4. Video: 5.4: Methods
  5. Video: 5.5: Introduction
  6. Video: 5.6: Introduction practice
  7. Video: 5.7: Discussion
  8. Video: 5.8: Abstract
  9. Video: Demo Edit 5 (Optional)

Graded: Unit 5 Homework

WEEK 6


6
Unit 6 discusses the peer review process, as well as ethical issues in scientific publishing. You will learn how to avoid plagiarism, determine authorship, submit a paper, write a peer review, and avoid predatory journals.


9 videos expand


  1. Video: 6.1: Plagiarism
  2. Video: 6.2: Authorship
  3. Video: 6.3: The Submission Process
  4. Video: 6.4: Interview with Dr. Bradley Efron
  5. Video: 6.5: Interview with Dr. George Lundberg
  6. Video: 6.6: Interview with Dr. Gary Friedman
  7. Video: 6.7: Doing a peer review
  8. Video: 6.8: Predatory journals
  9. Video: Demo Edit 6 (Optional)

Graded: Unit 6 Homework
Graded: Essay

WEEK 7


7
Unit 7 reviews types of writing beyond original research manuscripts. You will learn how to write review papers, grants, letters of recommendation, and personal essays.


7 videos expand


  1. Video: 7.1: Writing a review article
  2. Video: 7.2: Grants I
  3. Video: 7.3: Grants II
  4. Video: 7.4: Grants III
  5. Video: 7.5 Writing letters of recommendation
  6. Video: 7.6: Writing personal statements
  7. Video: Demo Edit 7 (Optional)

Graded: Unit 7 Homework

WEEK 8


8
Unit 8 reviews communication with broader audiences. You will learn how work with the media, be interviewed, conduct an interview, and write about science for general audiences.


8 videos expand


  1. Video: 8.1: Talking with the media
  2. Video: 8.2: Panel Interview
  3. Video: 8.3: Writing for general audiences
  4. Video: 8.4: Writing a science news story
  5. Video: 8.5: Interviewing a scientist
  6. Video: 8.6: Social media
  7. Video: 8.7: Concluding Remarks
  8. Video: Demo Edit 8 (Optional)

Graded: Unit 8 Homework
Graded: Lay summary exercise
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