From 7 June 2019 09:00 to 12 July 2019 12:00

Writing a Scientific Paper

Course description

This six-session course covers all basic skills and topics of the writing process, structure and style of a scientific paper. During the training, the primary focus lies on the writing process of a paper and on the linguistics of academic writing: structure, cohesion and style. We recommend this course especially to PhD candidates in their first or second year.

Learning objectives

This course offers practical guidelines for a successful approach of your (future) writing task. We will pay special attention to the problems of the beginning writer: how to start, how to determine what you have to say, how to overcome writing blocks, how to compose a coherent line of thought? 

The programme contains the following topics:

  • The process of writing: a systematic method for writing and revision
  • Design of a paper and structure of sections (Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion)
  • The research question and your key message
  • Building paragraphs: coherence, use of conjunctions, topic sentences
  • Academic style: characteristics, vocabulary, passive or active voice, sentence length, cautious language, verb tenses
  • Critical review of (parts of) research papers
  • Writing critically: argumentation
  • English as a foreign language, grammar pitfalls

Instructional method

It is not mandatory for participants to be writing an article at the time of the course, but if you wish, you may submit a draft for discussion and feedback. Between every session you should plan a few hours of study time to carry out small writing assignments.


Annemarie van der Zeeuw - Focus op Tekst 

Max. number of participants


Number of credits

1.5 EC

Course schedule

Fridays June 7, June 14, June 21, June 28, July 5 and July 12, from 09.00 till 12.00.

Course certificate

You will receive a course certificate on condition that you are actively participating in at least five full sessions.

Course fee

Course fee internal PhD candidates: €0.
Course fee academic staff UU/UMC: €580.
Course fee external participants (if space permits): €965.

‘Internal PhD candidates’ include:

  • PhD candidates registered to the Graduate School of Life Sciences of Utrecht University via Hora Est/MyPhD

‘Academic staff UU/UMC’ include:

  • PhD candidates of Utrecht University, not registered to the Graduate School of Life Sciences via Hora Est/MyPhD; 
  • Postdocs employed by the Utrecht University or UMC Utrecht;
  • Other academic staff employed at the UU/UMC

‘External participants' include:

  • all other participants


You may cancel your application free of charge up to four weeks before the start of the course. If you cancel your application within four weeks before the start or if you are not present at the course meetings you(r department/research group) will be charged a no-show fee (€290 for this course). Unfortunately we cannot make any exceptions to this policy.

You can take this course any time during your PhD, since you do not have to be writing your own article
This course really helps you how to get started with writing, what to do when you have a writer's block and dealing with common pitfalls in English writing
Start date and time
7 June 2019 09:00
End date and time
12 July 2019 12:00
Entrance fee
Course fee internal PhD candidates: €0. Course fee academic staff UU/UMC: €580. Course fee external participants (if space permits): €965.
More information
PhD Course Centre