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

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

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.

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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76 - 100 of 1,950 Reviews for Writing in the Sciences

By Talia E

Oct 25, 2021

This course was extremely compelling. It made me look forward to writing! The material was presented in such an engaging way, even your voice was lively and drew me in to listening! It gave me confidence that I am in the right direction with the habits I have adopted as an early writer, such as organizing materials and investing more time in pre-writing. I loved the specific and personal examples, like how you began writing- I could picture your office with papers all over the place :) Every tip along the way was another tool in my writing basket. Learning how to write from a writers perspective but also from readers/editors perspective was great! After every module I felt that I learned so much and thought "what else could she possibly cover?", and then came another module just as interesting and important as the last! This course was so very thorough and is a MUST for students interested in scientific writing. This is a course I would love to do again just to always keep me on my toes. I will definitely refer back to the modules as I begin a career in professional scientific writing as a doctorate candidate. Thank you .

By Zarima J

May 10, 2020

This course was for me very useful and special. I have learned a lot and helps a lot for my PhD and career.

I am very grateful to Dr. Kristin Sainani, she is great professor, the way how she explains was very interesting, clear. I took her lessons with a great desire. I have a feeling that Dr. Kristin Sainani has beautiful vocal voice not monotonous and make you feel like in real classroom. She really knows how to motivate students. I didn’t feel that I was taking an online course because it was like real, not boring. Especially her exercises of each section very where very well developed because through exercises I could strength what I had learned. I believe this course is very fruitful, successful and after this course I have great desire to take more courses from COURSERA. Also, I would like to acknowledge for financial aid. Thanks that you are doing world brighter through the knowledge.


By Gulya J S

May 25, 2018

The instructor is very clear and not boring at all. She makes the course really interesting and engaging. I just loved all the knowledge she could pass on throughout the course.

I loved the fact that she taught not only scientific writing, but also writing an essay, reviewing articles - all of which is important in scientific career.

I also loved the presentation about Tweeting and Social Media. Although, i think she went too much into the details, which was not too relevant.

One thing i did not like was a presentation about grant-writing. The instructor made a voice presentation of 22 minutes with a monotonous voice. It was a bit boring and i got distracted because of it. So, i had to listen to her presentation at least two times to understand, which is difficult because i do not have much time.

Overall, great great great course!! Thanks to the main Professor!

By Ulka M

Nov 8, 2020

Dr. Kristin Sainani has conducted the course on 'Writing in the Sciences' in an excellent manner. She is clear, understandable, makes her point well, gives good tips and presents the lessons well - a very good teacher and presenter - .

The course has been well formulated. I understand a personal interaction is not possible with every student, but I would love to hear Dr. Sainani's comments on me, how my writing panned out, my editorial and lay communication skills etc. I would much appreciate it, if such a 'certificate' is possible.

The help desks have not been really helpful in the sense, they are always showing a 'busy time', day or night. This, kind of hindered in getting some of my queries solved Overall, an enjoyable eight weeks. I look forward to more interesting courses, both from Coursera and in having Dr. Kristin Sainani as an instructor.

By Manuel I M A

May 24, 2021

Thorough professional writing course tailored for scientific material, and that expected of it. Course material largely covers a variety of English-writing tips for quality and brevity where possible intended to assist the learner adopt a more concise and pleasant writing style for any future reader to review. With punctuation tips to maximize sometimes disparate information allotted to a single sentence correctly. And other guides inviting a learner into better habits to write for different audiences. Including standards for presentation and layout expected concerning the order of the information presented. And how to best write appropriately for each segment with respect to the intended reader; specialized professionals, academic institutions of similar or different areas, and that same investigative topic interpreted for a general public.

By Paulien v d B

May 26, 2020

I wish this course was taught in the first year of my bachelor, or even every scientific bachelor - it would certainly make scientific literature more readable. The instructor, Dr. Kristin Sainani, is excellent; she explains every subject clearly, engagingly, and illustrated with examples. You can directly apply what you have learned to your own writing, be it scientific or more personal. The course not only addresses linguistics and the scientific manuscript, but also the writing process itself (with the often overlooked but oh-so precious pre-writing step), peer reviews, and writings beyond the scientific publications. I would highly recommend this course to everyone working in science, but especially to undergraduates; this course will teach you incredible useful writing skills that you probably will not learn during your bachelor.

By Ho H T L

Apr 17, 2020

I really like this course and I am really appreciated Dr. Kristin Sainani for all your hard work to bring this online course to us. I have learned a lot from the very basic idea of a good writing to a very big picture - how to speak in front of social media. I have never thought of that because I have never been taught as details as what I have learned from this course. Also, this course is divided in different part, which is easy for me to practice the skills and catch up with the gradually expanding topic. I also love the way Dr. Sainani gave presentation, her voice, her intonation. She just made everything just so interesting and clearly to me. Thank you a lot Dr. Sainani. I am going to move to the US and follow my dream to become a pharmacist. I hope to see you in person one day, and I could say thank you to you again :)

By Soham D

May 12, 2021

Coming into this course my pockets were empty with regards to scientific literature, and now that I've finished this course, it's safe to say that I've become rich in knowledge. For Beginners, this is a wonderful opportunity to dive deep into the topic of Scientific Journals but as young and prospering scientists it's a great way to learn grammar, ethics, Do's and Dont's and last but not the least - "how to think outside the box and be creative". These 8 weeks I have had the wonderful experience of connecting with people across the globe and it was an ecstatic experience reading their Honours Papers and reviewing their assignments. I'm extremely thankful to Dr Kristin Sainani as well as numerous guest mentors/ Interview Panels and not to mention; Coursera for giving me this wonderful opportunity.

By Quang H N

Jul 29, 2021

This is probably the most challenging, energy-consuming, yet intriguing class I have ever taken. Through eight weeks of studying, I've learned how to write in a concise, effective, and engaging way—from choosing words; writing sentences, paragraphs, essays, applying them for academic articles. The first half of this course is very interesting, with lots of examples and exercises to help you improve your writing skills, while the second half gives you the technique of writing compelling academic manuscripts and other types of articles. Certainly, it takes time for me to fully adopt these techniques in honing my writing skill for my future career. But now I am just proud of myself for passing this course (with honor) and achieve the remarkable certification.

By xinyu w

Jan 11, 2021

Kristin must be an excellent teacher and writer! In this course, she taught me how to write clearly and briefly, with well-organised contents, vivid teaching styles, interesting examples. Needless to say, scientists, especially for the young, are not good at expressing, even though the quality is essential. Given this, kris engaged in logical flow, cutting clutters, rather than grammars and sentence, which requires strong language base. I think I learned how to write happily, without concerning unknown grammars. Only writers know much about writing can give out such useful and interesting contents, kris must be a good writer as well!!!!!!! Highly recommend this course, for those who are in need to learn writing but lack of an English background.

By Reshma S

Nov 26, 2020

Well, I took this course to see what Stanford had to offer and I must say it was a very insightful course for epidemiologists. We all have an inbuilt nature to think "yeah well, I am an epidemiologist, I can write English". Well this course definitely changed my opinion of how an epidemiologist should write and should not write. They also touch base on how to write articles in lay man's terms. How to handle media exposure about your reserach articles as well as how to grade your peers work and your subordinate's work with appropriate comments. I am very glad to have taken this course and achieved a grade of 90%. I would recommend this to all epidemiologists, experienced or not. Finally I thank Dr.Sainani for her insights and awesome teaching.

By Julia K

Nov 9, 2021

In the course, bio-medical sciences often serve as a linguistic platform, yet the scaffolding for an article follows the editorial blueprint for a generic scientific piece. Crucially, Dr. Seinani’s fostering conceptual transparency and scientific rigor through precise writing and relentless editing, bring to the surface imperfections which stay on the way of coherent expression of thoughts. During the extra editorial segments, watching her dissect and mercilessly slash fluffy sentences was scary at first and then almost hilarious, and then liberating – her passion for precision in scientific writing takes no enemies. I started to apply her method to my own writing, and it felt like taking off a corset of a superficial language.

By Hugo D S C

Sep 27, 2021

Some questions in the HW at the final of each unit are ambigous in my opinion, for example in unit 1: "There are extensive quality control measures that are unique to this pipeline" my response was "Exist extensive quality control measures that are unique to this pipeline" that in my opinion is acceptable but I tried with many oders posibilities but I always got wrong. Or "She was not a good student." my response for this was "She was a disadvantage student" that eliminate the "not", but neither with others options. I​ don't know where I made a mistake and in feedback just appear "Incorrect". Writing in the sciences was really fruitful for me, it is a great course. Thank you very much. Hugo David Sánchez Chávez.

By Camila D R

Sep 14, 2021

Coming from a third-world country and studying science has been a rollercoaster; the lack of good professors or teaching methods made it even more challenging. They never showed us how to do the writing process, and when I had to write my first two works, I was unconfident about my skills, and the process was horrible. Soon I'll be starting my master's degree and what worried me the most was how lacking my writing skills were. However, after taking this course, especially receiving corrections and feedback from my companions and reviewing their work, I feel more comfortable and excited to write. Thank you so much, Dr. Kristin Sainani. I will work hard and improve the skills you showed me during this course.

By Raghav C

May 12, 2020

First of all, I am grateful to Dr. Sainani and Coursera for putting up such a well organized course.

The guidelines provided in this course will certainly spare me several frustrating hours of trial and error, trying to piece together a "good scientific manuscript".

The course however, is not restricted to writing just journal articles. It also provides an excellent initiation into the skill of writing grants, LOR, personal statements, review articles.

There is also something in store for those who may want to pursue a career in science communication in the future.

I personally enjoyed the interviews with the journal editors and Dr. Sainani's former students.

All in all, this course is an all-round package.

By Jayakumar R I

Jun 18, 2020

Very useful course. It gave me a good understanding of the jargon and unpack of science. I would greatly appreciate if a course on thesis writing and research proposal drafting could be given by the instructor. Dr. Kristin Sainaini has well explained the process of writing. I felt a bit bored only when interviewing the scientist and getting information and vice versa. On the other hand, the tips for writing a research paper by senior editors were very much enlightening.

Thank you Dr. Kristin Sainaini and Coursera


Dr. Jayakumar Rajamani Iyer,

Assistant Professor - Environmental Science,

GITAM (Deemed-to-be-University)

Bengaluru Campus,

Nagadenahalli - 562163



By Rkayed

Feb 1, 2021

This course is aimed primarily at people who wish to write about scientific research with many examples from the science field. However, it is also useful for improvement of general writing skills because it covers grammar and punctuation; writing in the active voice; pre-writing; the writing process and editing, among other topics. The process for writing scientific manuscripts e.g. methods, figures, discussion and results are very helpful (especially for newcomers).

The course gives guidance on other relevant topics e.g. plagiarism and authorship; grants and writing letters of recommendation. In less depth, there is advice on speaking to the media and using social media to spread scientific knowledge.

By Rita P

Feb 25, 2021

I found this course very useful for my young scientist career. For me, it helped me to improve my thesis writing. English is not my native language so that class about grammar tips and most common mistakes was very helpful for me.

One thing that I also enjoyed was having the opportunity to evaluate my collegues work and vice-versa. Unfortunately I did not receive feedback about the longer task we had (resume an article, do an introduction or an abstract...), therefore I would like to recommend more shorter tasks for this kind of grading. Nevertheless, the comments I have received on other tasks were very important for my writing.

I will recommend this course on my LinkedIn account! Thank you so much.

By Serena D V

Apr 11, 2021

Very informative and clear. I appreciated the extra content as well as the many examples.

It was nice to get feedback from the other students, I mostly experienced nice and constructive feedback that was very useful to improve my writing.

Only sometimes, I saw comments that were unnecessarily aggressive or superficial. Remember that we are all here to learn and even a harsher criticism can be presented nicely. As for superficial comments, made only to fill the blank space: if you spend 3 minutes on giving feedback instead of 20 seconds, you only "wasted" 2 min and 40 seconds of your time, while somebody else got to learn something. Wouldn't you want the same from the others?

By Sergio A P P

Jun 10, 2018

As a pre-grade student I really apreciate have learnt diferent types of sccientific and academic texts; I liked to think over scientific publish future and the responsability as a future scientist to spread the results en discovers of my investigations and projects. Finally a already put on practice the skills I got, reviewing critically the papers i had to reed this semester and of course using all the good writting tips when writing my subjects homeworks ; Thank to all the team that made this course possible , specially the teacher; Hi from Chile ; Sergio Andrés Plaza Plaza -- Student of natural resources engineering at Austral University of Chile.


May 8, 2020

I really enjoyed the course and recommend others to take it. Even though I am in research for little less than two decades, no one every taught me how to write a research article. I used to learn it by reading manuscripts and observing the edits of my professors. Now, I understand and know why they were editing in certain ways. In addition, no one taught me how to peer review articles as well. This course covers how to write research articles, peer reviews, news reports and appear media interviews as well. Moreover, you can learn about how to tweet articles and news items. I highly recommend this course for researchers at all stages of their career.

By Margaret N

Jun 24, 2020

I really enjoyed the course which was very well organized and covered a great amount of information in depth. Dr. Kristin Sainani is an excellent and extremely thorough lecturer. She would refer back to information from earlier modules through the whole course so that the information would be integrated systematically. She is also passionate and dedicated about her subject and very engaged in developing new editors and writers. I learned a lot.

I particularly liked the sample edits so that I could see the approach she took, the reasons she made the edits, and the overarching organization that the edits supported.

Thank you very much, Dr. Sainani

By stacyg

Aug 8, 2020

Dr. Sainani is an excellent teacher. I recommend this course to everyone who want to learn how to write and edit more clearly, and not restricted to just the sciences. I just finished an English degree that focused on this material and was shocked by how much I was still able to learn from this free course. There's a lot of helpful advice here on concision, word choice, and structure. The professor also provides many "demo edits" to practice your skills before learning how she--an expert writer and editor--would edit them in a video. This course is put together very well; I really can't say enough good things about it. Thank you Dr. Sainani.

By Angela S C

Feb 1, 2021

I am a post-doc researcher and performed this course before writing my thesis. I revisit it from time to time and has been so far the most useful course I done in Coursera. The general tips for writing are incredibly useful and were, at the beginning, a bit again my believes of what is scientific writing. However, through all the examples and practices it became clear that these tips are really useful and lead to a more clear, scientific and easy-to-read writing. Plus Dr. Kristin Sainani is amazing at teaching and it was a pleasure to learn under her guidance. An absolute must for people who need to generate scientific manuscripts/reports!

By Eszter N

Jun 3, 2020

This course is filling a gap in my PhD education in Hungary. Yet, its content is essential to "survive" and become a good researcher, so it was really valuable for me to be able to access it and enroll, even if I'm in the last year of the PhD program. I'd like to thank to Dr. Sainiani and all her colleagues who helped to create this valuable course. Personally, it is a great start for me to begin writing my PhD thesis, a lot of inspiration and valuable tips in the writing style (even if my research field is far from medical). And the other tips I will be able to take with myself for future publications! Thank you again!