AESC30010 Scientific Writing and Review

Academic Year 2021/2022

This seven-week module facilitates the development of generic skills in scientific writing and literature review. Sources of scientific information will be described, with emphasis on the value of peer-reviewed resources. The use of abstracted or indexed sources of information will be introduced and search operations for the selection of pertinent literature sources from electronic catalogues and databases will be demonstrated and applied by the students. The module will introduce students to fundamental differences between scientific writing (e.g. theses, journal articles, technical reports) and other forms of writing (e.g. popular, journalistic, literary, blogs) and will explain how to read scientific articles. Principles of scientific writing will be detailed, including linguistic style, citation and bibliography, construction of arguments, structure and sections of scientific texts, using data and graphical information, plagiarism and publication outlet-specific conventions. Peer-review will be introduced and practised by the students.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- Distinguish between scientific (peer-reviewed) and other sources of information;
- Search electronic databases to find relevant literature on a specific topic;
- Understand the differences between scientific and other forms of writing;
- Write a scientific review paper on a specific topic;
- Participate in peer-review (as author and reviewer) to improve a scientific document;
- Prepare a short oral presentation using PowerPoint or similar software.

Indicative Module Content:

The use of abstracted or indexed sources of information will be introduced and search operations for the selection of pertinent literature sources from electronic catalogues and databases will be applied by the students in computer assisted practicals. The module will introduce students to fundamental differences between scientific writing (e.g. theses, journal articles, technical reports) and other forms of writing (e.g. popular, journalistic, literary, blogs) and will explain how to read scientific articles. Students will learn about principles of scientific writing, including linguistic style, citation and bibliography, construction of arguments, structure and sections of scientific texts, using data and graphical information, plagiarism and publication outlet-specific conventions. The students will apply those principles and skills in the researching, drafting, peer-reviewing and revising of a written literature review. The students will prepare slides for an oral presentation on a scientific topic.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Lectures

14

Small Group

6

Computer Aided Lab

6

Specified Learning Activities

40

Autonomous Student Learning

45

Total

111

Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures will introduce theoretical content. Computer Assisted Laboratories (CALs) will include practical learning exercises on library skills, database searches and the design of presentation slides.
Each student will conduct a literature review on a set topic related to their degree programme and produce a written review. As part of this task, they will also engage in a peer-review exercise with their fellow students, giving and receiving feedback on their drafts, and prepare visual material for an oral presentation. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Exclusions:

Similar Modules on writing skills


Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Incompatibles:
BIOL30040 - Scientific Writing for Biology

Equivalents:
Scientific Writing & Review (BIOL40020), Scientific Writing & Review (SBES30010), Scientific Writing & Review (SBES40020)


 
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Group Project: Peer-review exercises Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No

30

Project: Literature review project Week 7 n/a Graded Yes

50

Practical Examination: Open-book tests in computer labs Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No

20


Carry forward of passed components
Yes
 
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities
• Self-assessment activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Peer-review and self-assessment using a draft version. Group/class feedback on all open book tests. Option of written mini-report as feedback on final written literature review.

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
 
Spring
     
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 Thurs 14:00 - 14:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 Tues 14:00 - 14:50
Computer Aided Lab Offering 2 Week(s) - 19, 20, 21 Tues 15:00 - 16:50
Computer Aided Lab Offering 2 Week(s) - 22 Tues 15:00 - 16:50
Seminar Offering 2 Week(s) - 23, 24, 25 Tues 15:00 - 16:50
Computer Aided Lab Offering 4 Week(s) - 19, 21 Wed 15:00 - 16:50
Computer Aided Lab Offering 4 Week(s) - 20 Wed 15:00 - 16:50
Computer Aided Lab Offering 4 Week(s) - 22 Wed 15:00 - 16:50
Seminar Offering 4 Week(s) - 23, 25 Wed 15:00 - 16:50
Seminar Offering 4 Week(s) - 24 Wed 15:00 - 16:50
Computer Aided Lab Offering 5 Week(s) - 19, 20, 21, 22 Thurs 15:00 - 16:50
Seminar Offering 5 Week(s) - 23, 24, 25 Thurs 15:00 - 16:50
Spring