FOR 694 Writing for Scientific Publication

Instructor:  Ruth Yanai, Professor, 210 Marshall Hall, tel: 470-6955, e-mail: 

Lecture and class meetings: T TH 9:30 10:25

Catalog description of the course:

Three hours of lecture and discussion.  Students will improve their skills in technical reporting by preparing a manuscript suitable for submission to a scientific journal. Topics include selection of an appropriate journal, design of effective figures and tables, sequential preparation of sections of the manuscript, writing tips, peer review, and ethical issues.               

Pre- or co-requisite(s): Students must have research results analyzed and ready to be written up for publication. 

Major concepts or methodologies:

  1. Students will prepare their own research for publication, developing presentation and writing skills.  They will select an appropriate journal, determine authorship, design effective figures and tables, and sequentially prepare sections describing results, methods, introduction, discussion, and conclusions.

  2. Students will review one another's work at two stages, which provides an opportunity to learn about effective writing and constructive review.

  3. At the end of the course, each student's final draft will receive two independent reviews, like those it would receive in peer review through a journal.


After completing this course the student should be able to:

1.  Organize research results and structure them for presentation.

2.  Write at the appropriate level of detail and rigor for the chosen professional audience.

3.  Receive, utilize, and deliver constructive peer review.



One or more books on scientific writing will be supplemented by topical readings and examples of papers published in scientific journals.


Recommended textbooks: 

Richard J. Gladon, William R. Graves and J. Michael Kelly.  2011.  Getting published in the life sciences.  Wiley-Blackwell, ISBN-13: 978-1118017166

Josh Schimel .   2011.  Writing Science: How to Write Papers That Get Cited and Proposals That Get Funded.  Oxford University Press,  ISBN-13: 978-0199760244


Until these were published, we used:

Day, Robert A. and Barbara Gastel.  2006.  How to write and publish a scientific paper.  Greenwood.

Schedule, Assignments, and Due Dates


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Last updated 11/02/17