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301282 VO Essential scientific writing (2018S)

3.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 30 - Biologie


Language: English

Examination dates



Vorbesprechung: 02.03.2018, 11:00 Uhr
SR 1/BZB,Dr.Bohrgasse 9/6.Stock, 1030 Wien.
Ort: SR 1/BZB, Dr.Bohrgasse 9,1030 Wien.
March: 05, 06, 13, 16, 19, 20, 23 (09:00-10:30)
April: 09, 10, 13, 16 (09:00-10:30)
05.03 Introductory lecture Specifics of scientific writing. Nature of scientific problems. Formulating research topic
06.03 Structure of a scientific argument Evidence, reasons, warrants and claims
13.03 Elements of a manuscript and their function Describing Results and developing a storyline
16.03 Elements of a manuscript and their function (cont’d) Introduction and Discussion
19.03 Elements of a manuscript and their function (cont’d) Citing references, Methods, authorship and other issues
20.03 Planning, drafting and editing Scheduling, planning and revision. Principles of editing
23.03 English usage Word choice, tenses, sentence structure and flow
09.04 The publishing process Submission, reviews and revision
10.04 Scientific illustrations Salience and clarity, designing graphs
13.04 Scientific presentations Audience, timing, message and delivery; seminars, lectures and journal clubs
16.04 Project proposals Elements of, difference with manuscripts, competitive advantages, elements of project management
20.04 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 15:44