Universität Wien
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300282 VO Essential scientific writing (2017S)

3.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 30 - Biologie


Language: English

Examination dates



Vorbesprechung: 03.04.2017, 14:00, 6th floor SR 1 (Rm. 6.501/6.504),Dr.Bohrgasse 9,1030 Wien.
Ort: SR 1/BZB, Dr.Bohrgasse 9,1030 Wien.
April: 24, 25 and 28 (09:00-10:30)
May: 02, 05, 15, 16, 19, 22, 23, 29 and 30 (09:00-10:30)

Comments to time and place: the lectures will take place ONLY at the indicated times and dates. There will be NO possibility to accommodate the lectures on different dates or at a different time.

Preliminary schedule:

24.04 Introductory lecture Specifics of scientific writing. Everyday writing tasks (emails, notes, protocols, etc)
25.04 Structure of a scientific argument Evidence, reasons, warrants and claims
28.04 Elements of a manuscript and their function Describing Results and developing a storyline
02.05 Elements of a manuscript and their function (cont’d) Introduction and Discussion
05.05 Elements of a manuscript and their function (cont’d) Citing references, Methods, authorship and other issues
15.05 Planning, drafting and editing Scheduling, planning and revision
16.05 English usage Word choice, tenses, sentence structure and flow
19.05 The publishing process Submission, reviews and revision
22.05 Scientific illustrations Salience and clarity, designing graphs
23.05 Scientific presentations Audience, timing, message and delivery; seminars, lectures and journal clubs
29.05 Project proposals Elements of, difference with manuscripts, competitive advantages, elements of project management
30.05 reserved

Reading list: will be available through the course Moodle pages


Aims, contents and method of the course

Modern science requires young scientists to have efficient communication skills; yet, only a few programs offer formal training in scientific writing and presentation. This lack of training leads to awkward project reports and theses, poor grades, failed fellowship applications and rejected manuscripts. The proposed course aims to improve students’ competence in scientific writing. The topics covered include: structure of a scientific argument, elements of scientific manuscripts and their function, storyline development, planning, drafting and revision, English usage, introduction to publishing process, scientific illustrations and essential presentation skills. The course will help students learn and apply the principles of efficient communication to writing project reports, Master- and PhD theses, project proposals and fellowship applications as well as provide practical tips for everyday writing and presentation tasks (writing protocols, lab notes, emails, preparing group meetings, journal clubs, etc). These skills are practiced through lectures, reading additional course materials, open discussions and simple, low-stake writing assignments.
The course is primarily aimed at students in the area of basic biomedical research (biochemistry, molecular cell biology, structural biology, biophysics and the like), though the students of other natural sciences are welcome to attend.

Assessment and permitted materials

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Examination topics

Reading list

Association in the course directory


Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:43