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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Writing in the Sciences by Stanford University

4.9
stars
5,576 ratings
1,905 reviews

About the Course

This course teaches scientists to become more effective writers, using practical examples and exercises. Topics include: principles of good writing, tricks for writing faster and with less anxiety, the format of a scientific manuscript, peer review, grant writing, ethical issues in scientific publication, and writing for general audiences....

Top reviews

SD
Feb 25, 2020

Respected Dr.kristiani sainani madam and coursera.\n\nI thank you for the wonderful classes and presentations, it really didn't made me feel that i was learning online course but as in class learning.

AL
Jun 3, 2019

This was an amazing course that really helped me with my medical writing skills and understanding how making things clear for all audiences can help in spreading scientific knowledge across the world.

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26 - 50 of 1,950 Reviews for Writing in the Sciences

By Kristin W

Jun 19, 2018

While there were some helpful general tips, this course should really be called "Medical Journal Writing". With a course title like "Writing in the Sciences", you would expect it to apply to all (or a least a broad range of) branches of science. However, 99% of the examples were about medical science journal papers. This is not at all helpful to those of us who aren't doctors or medical researchers. It is very difficult to slog through when you can't understand the underlying examples. Either change the name of the course to Writing in the MEDICAL Sciences or broaden the scope of the examples. Because as is, this course was all but useless.

By Melisa A

Oct 11, 2020

This course was excellent! I have learnt a lot in just 8 weeks. I am excited to apply this knowledge to my field. I was actually disappointed when I reached the end of the course, because It was fun!

By Daniel K

Jun 17, 2018

Extremely helpful for someone who is just beginning his scientific career (me). It is particularly convenient to have examples from medical articles, as this is the science field I am exploring.

By Erkan O

Oct 19, 2019

Dr. Sainani really is a great tutor, she inspired me and gave confidence about how to approach writing in the sciences with a very fun and thorough style. Wouldn't be better !

Thank you

Erkan

By Nicole Y

May 13, 2020

The course covers wide range of skills in the academic writing; especially for scientific manuscripts. The contents are clear and concise, easy to follow!

By Archana D

Feb 12, 2021

I am sure that the knowledge and skills I acquired by taking this course will help me write publishable scientific articles for my research. Dr Kristin Sainani has covered the fundamental aspects of writing scientific papers and provided insights with practical examples. With a decade-long clinical experience working as a psychotherapist, I am now in a process to shape my career as a researcher, and I believe completing this course with honors will be instrumental in my pursuit.

By Carol R

Jul 11, 2019

Excellent, comprehensive course even though it is ranked as beginner level. I definitely honed skills from it. The professor's lectures are excellent.

By brian b

Jun 13, 2020

The course greatly improved my writing skills. I would definitely advertise this course to my colleagues.

By Malay B

Jun 10, 2020

It was a great learning experience. Highly recommended for non-native English speakers

By Sampada P

Jul 7, 2019

EXCELLENT COURSE..I have learned so much..in these past 8 weeks. THANK YOU SO MUCH

By Christine G H

Jul 8, 2019

Very informative - a must for anyone embarking on an academic writing journey!

By Swati

Jun 11, 2020

Excellent course. Enjoyed it. Thanks to Coursera & Prof Kristine

By Gabriela M

Jun 11, 2020

I love the course. Yes it is long but it is also covering a lot.

By Zunaira A

Jun 10, 2020

It was an incredible course and improved my knowledge very well.

By Indira C P

Jul 9, 2019

excellent course for a beginner in scientific writing...

By Asmaa E

Jul 4, 2019

this course help me easing my fears about writing.

By Dung Q

Jun 13, 2020

This is the greatest course I have ever learnt.

By Mohamad R P

May 25, 2020

The certificate has a bad quality. "Standford" sign just like a copy-paste name from the web. Not good

By William S

Nov 9, 2020

Summary:

I have zero complaints about the course. A retraction of the article used in the assignment below is no doubt after the material was released in the course. I write to address the issue and believe it may be useful as a teaching point.

Writing in the Sciences, Week 8, Peer Graded Assignment:

Below is an exact copy of the assignment.

The following summary appeared in a paper in PLOS Biology.

"Despite scientific and technological advances, communication has remained impossible for persons suffering from complete motor paralysis but intact cognitive and emotional processing, a condition that is called completely locked-in state. Brain–computer interfaces based on neuroelectrical technology (like an electroencephalogram) have failed at providing patients in a completely locked-in state with means to communicate. Therefore, here we explored if a brain–computer interface based on functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS)—which measures brain hemodynamic responses associated with neuronal activity—could overcome this barrier. Four patients suffering from advanced amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), two of them in permanent completely locked-in state and two entering the completely locked-in state without reliable means of communication, learned to answer personal questions with known answers and open questions requiring a “yes” or “no” by using frontocentral oxygenation changes measured with fNIRS. These results are, potentially, the first step towards abolition of completely locked-in states, at least for patients with ALS."

Research References:

https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1002593 Published Jan 31, 2017.

https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.3000089 Correction published Dec 12, 2018.

https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.3000607 Retraction Notice, Dec 16, 2019.

https://www.dfg.de/service/presse/pressemitteilungen/2019/pressemitteilung_nr_46/index.html Misconduct by Birbaumer Chaudhary cited and upheld by the German Research Foundation (GRF).

Student Recommendation, William Sparks (completed the course):

If the paper continues as the Week 8, Peer Graded exercise, I believe the model answer should be adjusted to add one sentence about the charges, subsequent investigation, and findings of the GRF. It is unknown if the deficiencies would have made any difference to the outcome of the research. I believe this paper remains a fantastic assignment and in some respects is now better due to the conflict and the path that thorough research of the exercise should no doubt discover by students in the course.

I reviewed 8 exercises for this module and zero mentioned the retraction or findings of the misconduct investigation. Of note, I was fully aware of it but did not mention it either. I said nothing to keep the question internal to Stanford and Coursera. Perhaps others felt the same way.

By Charul S

Jul 9, 2020

Although I'm not from the medical field, I am thoroughly satisfied with the course content. The course is well structured and the short duration of the modules is so comfortable to adjust to. The quizzes are thorough and actually test your knowledge, post listening to the weekly lectures.

I used to be confused and frustrated regarding the writing process in academics, but attending this course has opened my eyes and broadened my mind. It is an all encompassing course that touches on the minutest details of academic writing: editing, grammar, writing process, stages in writing, publishing, peer review and what not.

I am so thankful to the teacher of the course for making this information available and that too in such an engaging manner, there was not a dull moment during this course, the teacher always kept my mind engaged with relatable and easy to understand examples. One of the best attributes of the course is that it is 'succinct' and 'crisp', without any 'unnecessary clutter' and 'dead weight' lectures, much like the requisites of academic writing that this course advocates. I feel confident to dive into my academic writing after attending this course, and I'm going to come back to it whenever I'm unsure about writing a research paper again.

By Liz C

Mar 31, 2021

If you are a scientist, you need to take this course. This is - bar none - the very best course I have ever taken. Every single scientist should take this course, preferably at the undergraduate level, but minimally in the early days of graduate school before they attempt to write anything. I am lamenting not having access to this course when I wrote my thesis, or struggled my way though writing manuscripts for publication. I am sharing this with everyone on my team and people from my former positions. I am eternally grateful to Dr. Sainani, and hope more of her courses become available on Coursera in the future; now that I have my communication skills honed, my biostats could use some brushing up!

I am not exaggerating when I say this free Coursera program was more beneficial than any formal training I had in undergrad, grad school or my post-doc positions, either in scientific writing or in simple science. Science only matters if we can communicate it.

By Mithra M

Jan 19, 2021

This is a fantastic course with an exceptional instructor. I earned my Ph.D. quite a while ago and have written plenty. I've never had trouble writing "correctly," but also was never trained in how to write or plan papers efficiently. The material provided in this course has totally helped me by filling in gaps in how to write papers, how to pay attention to the reader, how to edit other people's work, and even how to think about moving into science journalism. The instructor describes her thought processes in editing, and this is a fantastic help. I wish there were a second course and/or a book or blog. Thank you to Dr. Sainani and thank you to Stanford for making this course available. It gives me faith in online learning. One suggestion: if doing a Part II, it would great to more fully include social sciences, which are not the focus of this course.

By Roxana K

Apr 29, 2021

The best online course I have ever taken. This course eased my way in writing. I can not believe how much I learned (and tried to unlearn!) during this 8 weeks. I am a postdoc with 22 peer reviewed publications, still some materials in this course were brand new for me. My first language is not English and I learned science writing here and there mimicking old style writers and picked up all those unnecessary sometimes incorrect ROLES of science writing. I have a much better feeling and confidence in my writing now.

Well done and thanks for making it available for free. My writing, or better to say my thinking process during writing, is now more organized and purposeful. Keep offering it so a greater number of students and professionals could benefit from it. I loved it too much!!!!

By Talita P

Jun 10, 2020

I took this course aiming to improve my writing skills focusing on papers and manuscripts. Turns out it showed me how to be a better science communicator for a general audience and that was fantastic! The strategies presented in the course are interesting and powerful, independently if you are a student or an expert. Professor Kristin Sainani has an excellent didatics, that engage you the course.

By Anketse D

Jan 16, 2021

This is an excellent course if you are struggling how to write a scientific paper or don't know what goes in what part of the paper. I have already graduated from grad school but I wish I took it in my first and second year of grad school as it would have simplified my writing life.