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Academic writing


Admission requirements

This course is obligatory for all MSc students Chemistry and all MSc students Life Science & Technology who started after August 2017. Students should follow the course Science Methodology in the same academic year.


A good scientist will never be a great scientist without the ability to explain their work to other scientists. Therefore, it is vital that students learn to report on their work with easy to read manuscripts in proper academic English, with a clear and logical structure.
In this course, students will learn the essential writing skills for communicating scientific results. The principles are covered in lectures and put into practice with exercises during lectures and in homework assignments. To test the skills acquired in this course, three writing assignments are handed in and graded. These are an introduction to a research paper, a mini literature review and an essay that is written for the course Science Methodology. Students will improve their texts based on feedback from the lecturer and peer-review sessions.
At the end of the course students:

  • can critically read scientific literature

  • know the structure of a scientific paper and the function of each section

  • can use logical structure to build their narrative

  • can write a piece of scientific text using proper academic English

  • know how to source, use and cite scientific literature

  • can review and edit their own and their peers’ work

Mode of instruction

Lectures, homework exercises, workshops, peer-review and writing assignments.


All literature will be made available on blackboard:

  • Papers from the literature

  • Slides presented during the lectures

  • Background reading materials


Final assessment is based on three writing assignments.

  • assignment 1 (introduction): 20%

  • assignment 2 (literature review): 50%

  • assignment 3 (essay): 30%
    Attendance at lectures, workshops and participation in peer-review is mandatory.