Scientific Writing Training (English)

Photo credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Background

This course originated as a three-day scientific writing workshop for global Field Epidemiology Training Program residents and emerging authors. Materials were converted to an e-learning course to expand reach and increase flexibility and convenience for learners. The course includes both infectious and non-communicable disease examples.

Purpose

This scientific writing course guides learners through the process of writing and publishing an original research manuscript (called a “scientific paper” throughout this course).

Language

English

Time Required

Approximately 8 hours total to complete all modules. Modules do not have to be completed in one sitting.

Audience

Junior-level scientists, Field Epidemiology Training Program participants, General public interested in scientific writing.

Structure

This self-guided e-learning course consists of eight interactive modules designed for learners to complete at their own pace. Learners can start and stop as needed but must note where to resume the course, as the place will not be saved between sessions.  

Learners are encouraged to complete modules in order. After completing one module but prior to moving on to the next module, it is recommended that learners apply what was learned to a personal scientific writing project, preferably working with a mentor. Suggested steps for applying learnings are included at the end of each module.

Scientific Writing Modules

Module 1: Writing and Publication Process

Click to access module.

This module provides an overview of the overall writing and publication process for scientific papers. The module addresses components of a scientific paper, steps to consider when drafting a paper, and the journal selection process.

Module 2: Basic Writing Principles

Click to access module.

This module describes fundamental scientific writing principles that can be used to improve a paper’s impact. The module covers techniques for writing clearly and concisely.

Module 3: Abstract

Click to access module.

This module covers the importance of a well-crafted scientific paper abstract. The abstract provides readers an overview of the study and is often used to determine if the submission merits consideration for publication. The module includes tips on how to ensure an abstract accurately represents the paper’s value.

Module 4: Introduction Section

Click to access module.

This module covers the introduction section of a scientific paper, which contextualizes the study and highlights the knowledge gap being addressed. The module describes introduction components and how to write a focused introduction.

Module 5: Methods Section

Click to access module.

This module explains the purpose and structure of the methods section of a scientific paper. The module describes best practices for organizing and writing the methods section so that readers can easily understand how the study was conducted.

Module 6: Results Section

Click to access module.

This module focuses on the results section of a scientific paper, which provides findings relevant to the study objective. The module discusses the presentation of results, how to use tables and figures to shape the presentation, and strategies for clearly communicating findings.

Module 7: Discussion Section

Click to access module.

This module describes the discussion section of a scientific paper, which interprets the study findings within the context of the study objective and existing literature. The module provides strategies for writing a strong discussion section.

Module 8: Wrapping Up: Title, Supporting Materials, and Submitting Your Manuscript

Click to access module.

This final module explains the submission and review processes for a scientific paper. The module also covers crafting an effective title and preparing the supporting materials requested by journals during paper submission.