MOOC: Scientific Writing

Introduction to Scientific Writing is designed for non-native speakers of English. It will provide a basic foundation for academic scientific writing. It incorporates the building blocks of good writing in English language scientific journals, especially those based in the United States. Module topics include using appropriate grammar, sentence structure, vocabulary, and avoiding plagiarism.

This course ended March 24, 2017. Please contact us if you are interested in future courses.

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This course has 4 modules. In each module you will:

  • Watch an introductory video
  • Study a lesson
  • Take a practice quiz
  • Participate in a discussion
  • Take an exit quiz

Getting Started (opens week 1)  

  • Prepare for the course
  • Introduce yourself to the learning community
  • Take the welcome survey

Module 1: Building a Foundation (opens week 1)

  • Analyze the essential components of a complete sentence
  • Distinguish complete sentences from sentence fragments and run-on sentences
  • Apply rules for adverb placement
  • Identify the common verb tenses used in scientific writing

Module 2: Combining Ideas (opens week 2)

  • Recognize and use a variety of coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions, sentence connectors, and relative pronouns commonly used in scientific writing
  • Share compound and complex sentences using correct grammar and punctuation in a scientific writing context
  • Identify strategies for organizing sentences within paragraphs in scientific writing
  • Create cohesion between sentences within a paragraph

Module 3: Conveying Meaning (opens week 3)

  • Recognize the role of vocabulary choice in scientific writing style
  • Apply strategies for making writing more concise
  • Use Internet tools to explore usage and collocation

Module 4: Incorporating Sources (opens week 4)

  • Differentiate between quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing
  • Develop skills to avoid unintentional plagiarism in scientific writing
  • Paraphrase and quote information from outside sources
  • Develop awareness of different citation formats (MLA, APA, CMS)

Course ends: March 24, 2017 (midnight Mountain Time)

You can receive digital badges for the successful completion of each module.

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