Advanced English: Scientific Writing
About the CourseAlthough English has been the lingua franca of science for over a century, young Italian researchers often find it difficult to produce a manuscript for an international journal in a style acceptable for publication. From the point of view of the journal editor who receives the manuscript, if the English language is poor, difficult to read and understand, or includes grammar and style faults, the paper is unacceptable. In fact, it would require heavy and expensive editing before publication. What is more, a weak style of the manuscript may cast a shadow on the scientific soundness of its results and the fairness of its discussion and conclusions. On the contrary, an easily readable text, devoid of repetitions or contradictions, which presents in logical sequence the author’s findings and comments, is a great wild card to rapid publication of the work done in the laboratory or in the clinical ward. This short course, which requires a good knowledge of English, is dedicated to the technique of scientific writing, in particular in the medical and biological fields. The video lectures address the common grammatical errors of morphology and syntax that are often encountered while editing manuscripts written by Italian authors. Specific areas being covered include use of pronouns, punctuation and dangling participles. Next come specific issues of technical writing, such as abbreviations, units of measure, and choice of standard scientific terms. A video lecture is dedicated to the different types of scientific publications and the logical sequence of presentation of the work done in the sections of the article. Finally, practical examples of text editing are used to deal with finer points of style, such as how to organize the text in paragraphs, and how to avoid redundancy, elegant variation, or ambiguous phrasing.
- to organize scientific
data for publication;
- to acquire expertise in scientific/technical writing;
- to learn international standards of text composition;
- to edit scientific text according to international standards.
Background and RequirementsGood working knowledge of English.
- Gary Blake, Robert W. Bly. Elements of Technical Writing. Pearson, 2000.
- AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors, OUP USA, 10th edition, 2007.
- Barbara Gastel, Robert A. Day. How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper. Greenwood Pub Group, 2016.