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Stanford University

Writing in the Sciences

Stanford University via Coursera


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.


  • 1
    • Unit 1 introduces the course and reviews key principles of effective writing. In particular, you will practice cutting clutter from writing.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 4
    • Unit 4 reviews the writing process. I will give you tips for making the writing process easier, more efficient, and more organized.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Taught by

Kristin Sainani


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4.9 rating, based on 12 reviews

Start your review of Writing in the Sciences

  • Dawlah Qasem Murshed Ahmed Saeed
    Writing in the science. Good writing communicates an idea clearly and effectively making your essay elegant and stylish. Having something to say, logical thinking, and having a take-home message make good writers. To become a better writer: Read,...
  • An excellent course both for beginners and intermediate-level scientific writers. I'm a medical researcher and this course definitely improved my writing; I'm sure it will increase the likelihood of getting my work published. I recommend it.
  • Profile image for Margarita Zakharova
    Margarita Zakharova

    Margarita Zakharova completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

    This course is incredibly useful for anyone who has attempted writing scientific paper or yet to do so. The teacher delivers very fresh and rational view on how to write sharp and clear. It helped me a lot in my professional career. I was actually writing a paper while taking this course, and I could implement everything the teacher was saying right away. Everyone related to science will benefit from this course, even the experienced professors and scientists.
  • Huma

    Dr Sainani thank you. Now, I learnt how to read and edit my writings; however, writing is not easy at all.
  • Jadab Kumar Pal completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

    Writing in the Sciences is the one of the online free courses offered by the World's renowened University. It deals with the writing scientific papers. Anybody can learn writing Abstract to Conclusion in a lucid manner. The method applied is very helpful for science students.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    The prof is an outstanding editor, and good at communicating hows to do it. I am a professional writer and editor, and the course helped me improve.
  • Profile image for Jevgeni Martjushev
    Jevgeni Martjushev

    Jevgeni Martjushev completed this course.

  • Anonymous

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  • Tom Kawai completed this course.

  • Amanda Salimon completed this course.

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