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Intro

Stanford OpenEdx: SciWrite: Writing in the Sciences

 with  Kristin Sainani
Class Central Course Rank
#3 in Subjects > Humanities > Grammar & Writing

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).

Syllabus

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

15 Student
reviews
Cost Free Online Course
Pace Self Paced
Institution Stanford University
Provider Stanford OpenEdx
Language English
Certificates Certificate Available
Calendar 8 weeks long
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FAQ View All
What are MOOCs?
MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These are free online courses from universities around the world (eg. Stanford Harvard MIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
How do I register?
To register for a course, click on "Go to Class" button on the course page. This will take you to the providers website where you can register for the course.
How do these MOOCs or free online courses work?
MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you.  They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.

15 reviews for Stanford OpenEdx's SciWrite: Writing in the Sciences

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful
6 months ago
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Tom Kawai completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
The lecturer writes academic articles herself; the pitfalls, the hurdles, and how to get you published; all in one course. She un-trains your bad habits and walks you through your first tables, to eventually giving interviews to journalists. She calms your fears by interviewing top-journal editors who give their views Read More
The lecturer writes academic articles herself; the pitfalls, the hurdles, and how to get you published; all in one course. She un-trains your bad habits and walks you through your first tables, to eventually giving interviews to journalists. She calms your fears by interviewing top-journal editors who give their views on what it means to be rejected and how rewrite a draft for resubmission. The course is not so much about writing than about how to get on with your writing and academic career. If you're stuck, the course is your way out. It's all medical and if you can express a medical concept and finding clearly in writing, you probably can express anything clearly in writing. This is Stanford, you won't get any better advice on your academic writing
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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful
4 years ago
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Anonymous completed this course.
The videos and the instructor are fine, but really the peer review is less than useless. The were glitches that reset the scores to zero during the editing, and a lot of people got unfair zeros out of this. Not enough people cared to submit feedback at all, and the forum is filled with people complaining about a low g Read More
The videos and the instructor are fine, but really the peer review is less than useless.

The were glitches that reset the scores to zero during the editing, and a lot of people got unfair zeros out of this. Not enough people cared to submit feedback at all, and the forum is filled with people complaining about a low grade with no motivation. Finally, a lot of students didn't complete their assigned peer review, so there were cases with only 2 or 1 score given, and also this one with no feedback and unfair low marks.

If the peer review system is not changed, definitely better to avoid this course or just watch the videos. Losing time with the assigments is useless
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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful
2 years ago
Justin Beach completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
This course is intended for scientists who publish or intend to publish academic papers. As a non-scientist I don't know how useful my review can be. I took the course because I write about science and wanted to gain a better understanding of the process behind science writing and publishing. If this is a subject that Read More
This course is intended for scientists who publish or intend to publish academic papers. As a non-scientist I don't know how useful my review can be. I took the course because I write about science and wanted to gain a better understanding of the process behind science writing and publishing. If this is a subject that interests you it is a good comprehensive review that does not go over your head (regardless of your science background). The course also offers a good deal of worthwhile writing advice, regardless of what you are writing about. I found that it took roughly a half hour per day.
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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful
3 years ago
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Anonymous completed this course.
Fantastically practical. Good assignments. Excellent instruction. The peer review process was somewhat flawed because of the significant amount of extra work related to editing pieces by poor non-English speakers, and annoying to read their edits of decent English writing. In all, a super worthwhile course. Take it and you'll be thankful every sentence you write!
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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful
2 years ago
Maciej completed this course.
There were some minor problems with peer reviews and greading, but overall this course was one of the most practical and useful MOOCS I have ever attended.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful
9 months ago
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Anonymous partially completed this course.
good course to improve my writing skill it provide by standord so good teacher and very good course for anyone who want to face competion
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3 months ago
Amanda Salimon completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
The course is excellent for those who wish to learn how to write articles and papers. You have to dedicate yourself to watch the videos carefully and to do all the exercises. They take time and effort, but it is completely worth it. I think I might take the course again to review some points and improve my writing.
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4 years ago
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Anonymous completed this course.
It is an awesome learning experience even for professional writers.
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a year ago
Kier Mitchel Pitogo completed this course.
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2 years ago
Oluwole Olusanya is taking this course right now.
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2 years ago
Divya Uppala is taking this course right now.
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2 years ago
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2 years ago
Amrendra Kumar is taking this course right now.
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8 months ago
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Dennis B. Mendiola completed this course.
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a year ago
Georgina dropped this course.
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