Course Number 0400-2005-02
Course Name Scientific Writing for Biologists
Academic Unit The George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences -
The George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences
Lecturer Prof. Judith BermanContact
Contact Email:
Office Hours By appointmentBuilding: CohenPorter/Britania-Life Sci , Room: 418
Mode of Instruction Lecture and Exercise
Credit Hours 3
Semester 2022/1
Day Mon
Hours 11:00-13:00
Fully online course Course is taught in English
Syllabus Not Found

Short Course Description

This course will help students improve their scientific writing and presentation skills in English for their PhD studies and beyond. Topics will include writing sections of manuscripts, research proposals and preparing short oral presentations.

Students will write portions of scientific documents and review the written work of others through frequent peer review exercises. And they will prepare and present a short oral presentation on their research.

The class will include asynchronous lectures and reading material, which must be completed before class, and in-class discussions including small break-out groups.

Course Objectives? We will:
? Discuss the principles of academic/scientific writing and writing conventions (including citation methods and generators)
? Learn strategies of peer evaluation and practice giving and receiving constructive critiques.
? Analyze a variety of genres (e.g. journal articles, abstracts, sections of manuscripts)
? Establish and practice elements of style (e.g. conciseness, sentence variation)
? Review relevant principles of English grammar (e.g. appropriate verb
tenses) and vocabulary commonly used in scientific papers
? Explore the social context of scientific/academic discourse (e.g., hedging, modesty)
? Discuss the preparation of, and elements in, figures and tables that enhance their usefulness.
? Develop strategies for revision and responses to reviewers
? Develop oral skills for formal oral presentations

Course Assignments
Students are expected to have completed viewing and/or reading of asynchronous material prior to class.

Students will complete writing assignments and will be involved in peer review of assignments from other students. Writing assignments will include:
? Preparing an abstract for a manuscript/conference presentation/PhD proposal
? Peer review: Writing scientific reviews of work from others and responding to reviews of one?s own work.
? Outlining a results section and writing up one subsection.
? Writing portions of a manuscript introduction
? Writing portions of a manuscript discussion
? Writing a Specific Aims page for a PhD proposal (rationale/background; hypothesis; list of specific aims; expected outcomes)

The major writing tasks will be done in 3 stages:
1. Each student will write and submit a DRAFT of the assignment
2. Each student will peer-review the work of others and receive constructive critiques of their work from their peers.
3. Each student will review the work, revise or prepare a revision plan and resubmit the work.

Weekly Sessions
? Students will receive individual feedback on their tasks from the peer review process and from the instructor.
? Students will learn about what makes documents successful from the process of reviewing the work of others.

? Instructor will maintain a website in Moodle
and provide additional instructional materials and excerpts from professional books and sources.
? Students will be required to use Moodle to submit work and to participate in the peer review (workshop) process.
? University level dictionary and thesaurus are recommended online/offline.
? Free on-line copy of Grammarly is also highly recommended.

Evaluation of Student Work

? Teacher Assessment of student work submitted ? Emphasis is on the process of improvement.

? Peer evaluation ? peer revision and evaluation of written assignments, and feedback from students in class discussions.

? Peer review input?quality of peer reviews provided to others, and improvement in that process.

? Participation?in-class discussions, timely submission of writing assignments and active participation in the peer review process.

Timely viewing of asynchronous material (before the relevant class), participation in the peer review process, and attendance for all in-class sessions is required.

Full syllabus will be available to registered students only
Course Requirements

Students may be required to submit additional assignments
Full requirements as stated in full syllabus

The specific prerequisites of the course,
according to the study program, appears on the program page of the handbook

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