From 26 November 2018 to 28 January 2019

Writing a Scientific Paper - ONLINE - FULLY BOOKED

Course description

This 7-week course offers many practical tools for optimizing your (future) writing task. We will start with an extensive exploration of the writing process. Writing a scientific paper means writing different sections that have special purposes and, consequently, are structured in a different way. Special attention is paid to the problems of the beginning writers, exploring  questions like: How to start? How to determine what you have to say? How to overcome writing blocks? How to compose a coherent line of thought?

Because a reader focused structure is one of the keys to clear writing, the basics of text design - paragraph structure, use of topic and key sentences, tools for cohesion - are central topics, as well as all features of academic writing: story line, style, readability, word choice and pitfalls of English grammar.

The course consists of 7 learning units, spread over 7 weeks:

  • Basics of scientific writing
  • Building an introduction and a discussion
  • Paragraph structure: topic and key sentences
  • Textual cohesion and emphasis
  • Academic style 1: sentence length and the passive voice
  • Academic style 2: noun style, concision, hedging and boosting
  • Revising your article: verb tenses, pitfalls of scientific English, punctuation

What you will learn

At the end of the course you will:

  • understand the process of writing a scientific paper and know the criteria an excellent paper should meet
  • have more insight in issues of structure and know several tools to edit on a structural level
  • be able to design, write, analyze and edit a scientific paper with an eye for cohesion, clarity and conciseness
  • know the most important features of a scientific style
  • have gained confidence in writing


This course will be coordinated by Elevate. To take part, you need to buy the book by Adrian Wallwork: English for writing research papers, Springer 2011, ISBN 978-1-4419-7922-3. Price:  € 26,01

Course trainer

You will be trained by Annemarie van der Zeeuw (Focus op Tekst). Annemarie has ample experience in teaching science writing and has been training Graduate School of Life Sciences PhD candidates face to face since 2015. As from April 2017 her science writing course 'Writing a Scientific Paper' is available online as well.

Annemarie is training you through video messages. You will receive feedback from her (and your peers), using the Discussion Boards of the Elevate Platform.
Several resources of this course are available at:

Estimated time investment

Six hours per week.

Number of credits

2 EC

Course dates

Starting November 26th every week one session will be online for you to follow.
Time: Decide yourself, during one week.

Course certificate

You will receive a course certificate after completing all seven learning units and being an active participant on the online platform.

Course fee

Course fee internal PhD candidates: €150.
Course fee external participants: €685.

‘Internal PhD candidates’ refers to PhD candidates of the Graduate School of Life Sciences, who are working (either on a salary or on a scholarship) at the faculty of Science, faculty of Veterinary Medicine or UMC Utrecht. Please note that you can use your personal course budget of €400/year (€1,600 max) to pay for these courses. This budget is managed by your department (faculty of Science/Veterinary Medicine) or your Division (UMC Utrecht). 

‘External participants’ include PhD candidates working elsewhere (even those registered with the PhD programmes of the Graduate School of Life Sciences, e.g. at the Hubrecht Institute), PhD candidates from other Schools and postdocs.

From the beginning the online course Writing a Scientific Paper is rated with an 8+ (out of 10)!
Start date and time
26 November 2018
End date and time
28 January 2019
Entrance fee
Course fee internal PhD candidates: €150. Course fee external participants: €685.
More information
PhD Course Centre