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

7,536 ratings

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


Aug 25, 2020

A very helpful course. My writing has improved significantly in these 8 weeks. I highly recommend this course to everyone. Thank you Dr. Kristin Sainani and Coursera for bringing this course together.


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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126 - 150 of 2,515 Reviews for Writing in the Sciences

By Zachary N

Jul 5, 2021

Although I've written several manuscripts, a thesis, and WAY too many clinical notes, this course was 100% worth my while. There's an outstanding focus on critically reviewing and editing, and in particular on clarity and brevity, that I think anyone interested in anything from manuscript preparation to science journalism can benefit from. The 30-35 hours spent here will pay you back in orders of magnitude if you do any significant future wrtiting in the sciences (or, frankly, writing in general, since much of the course material is broadly applicable).

By Jenna A

Aug 13, 2020

This is an amazing course! I am a college Senior and I found this to be a comprehensive course, full of relevant and helpful information and exercises to make me a better writer. I learned that writing in science is a skill of its own, different than writing a book or essay for English class. Dr. Kristin Sainani is a wonderful instructor, everything about her teaching style and breadth of information is excellent. I would recommend this course to anyone interested in becoming a scientific researcher, or looking to edit scientific journals. Great job!

By MahiM

Oct 12, 2020

Thanks to coursera for providing me this opportunity, that has significantly improved my writing skills and knowledge of journalism in Sciences. A special thanks to the charismatic instructor, Dr. Kristin Sainani, who has articulated each session in an excellent and enthusiastic manner, making this course a wonderful learning experience. Every topic, video, assignment, homework, of the course was unique, informative and interesting, adding great value to the course content and with Dr. Kristin Sainani as the instructor - it was a top-notch course.

By Sergey S

Aug 29, 2020

In the beginning of the course editing was hard for me. My internal scientist was speaking in stiff lifeless sentences which he picked up from all the books and papers that I have read.

Now I see that engaging science writing is not only possible, but necessary. If you produce a result you are proud of (and why produce different ones?), you should put your best effort into sharing it with your scientific community. I hope all the lessons from the course will help me with writing further articles and will help my colleagues with understanding them!

By Dr. S S M

Sep 9, 2021

Not just did I find this course useful and chockful of informative gems from the expert instructor, but I also thoroughly enjoyed every module, quiz and writing assignment. It kept me involved and interested till the very end. The information contained here has unfortunately never been taught to us as research students and I am really grateful to Coursera and Dr. Kristin Sainani for making something so valuable. I consider the time that I spent on this course very well worth it indeed and subscribing to Coursera Plus has paid off wonderfully.

By Vasanti K

Oct 1, 2020

I am passionate about science and about writing. The course title attracted me and I am happy I enrolled for the course. I am a retired Professor with 42 years of teaching and writing science. The learnings from this course have enriched my writing style especially for writing science for common (non-science-domain) people and to popularize science. Dr Kristin Sainanii is wonderful writer, editor and teacher. With a tongue in chek, she will ask to cut the clutter and use action words.

I am looking forward to enroll in such innovative courses.


Jun 19, 2020

What an experience it has been!!

A big thank you to Stanford University and Kristin Sainani for this endeavour which helped researchers in across various disciplines. It gave me a different take on reading and understanding manuscripts, along with the very useful tips on writing effectively. The demo edits and peer reviews have helped me tremendously. It convinced me that a scientific piece need not be abstract and boring. Kristin showed elegantly showed us that keeping it simple and real is the key to communicate any idea across any platform.

By Barbara A

Jun 23, 2022

In my opinion, this was an extremely valuable course. As an author of several peer reviewed papers, I was surprised to find there was still a LOT I could learn and take away from this course. The Instructer was extremely engaging and knowledgeable. She took a course material that might have seemed "dry" and make it lively and exciting to follow. I thoroughly enjoyed taking this course, and I feel that my overall writing style has heavily benefited from her suggestions and examples.

Thanks so much for offering this course to the world!

By Rod T

Feb 26, 2018

I completed the course over a month ago, and I am struck by how often I recall and use things I learned. Writing in the Sciences lays a broad foundation for science writers and subject matter experts alike. Young scientists will find many helpful hints and tips, and even experienced editors will find nuggets to squirrel away. The instructor owns a strong background in science as well as in writing/editing, and her expertise and experience lend a unique perspective to the material. I give Writing in the Sciences my highest recommendation.

By Rafaela C P

Jun 3, 2020

This course is extremely helpful and very well organised. Dr. Kristin Sainani does an outstanding job in explaining how to write effectively. The polls, exercises, and essays are a great complement that help you to practice what you have learned, giving a new meaning to each lesson. As the themes of each week are broad, this is a course for anyone, at any career stage (from tips on how to be a better writer up to how to write scientific manuscripts and grants!). Definitely recommend it to anyone that wants to improve scientific writing.

By Jillian

Jan 31, 2020

Great course! I do recommend updating the social media section (5.6, I believe). There are some inaccurate facts (ex. twitter's character count) and one MAJOR issue wasn't addressed: social media blow back. How can one survive if a tweet about the development of a coronavirus vaccine is brigaded by anti-vaxxers, for example? How to avoid getting drug down into unproductive debates? Also, maybe a quick reminder that "the internet is forever" so never ever post anything you wouldn't want a future employer to see. Choose words wisely.

By Astrid P M C

Jan 9, 2019

I was a little bit sceptical of taking a writing course on line. I had no idea whatsoever how a writing course could be run on line - I am satisfied and happy about the course in general. The course brings the essential tools to improve the writing. It helped me to be more aware of the mistakes I commonly do during my writing. I found quite interesting that it involves the different scenarios : a scientific manuscript, a book for general audience, social media and networks. I definitely will be recommending the course.

By Andrew M

Oct 25, 2017

I have always struggled to right scientific papers. They often suffer from redundancy and poor organization. Not to mention the long time it takes me to complete one.

This course was transformative. It provided me with a game plan to efficiently structure my writing time. Unlike other courses it went into detail about how different sections should be written and what language should be used. In addition the breadth of the course also includes other types of writing which all researchers will inevitably have to tackle.

By Louis P

Jun 29, 2021

The course overall is very organized and well structure. It was very informative and helpful for students who do not have experience in writing scientific manuscripts. The only suggestion I have is to omit the peer-reviewed assignments of the course. I had a negative experience with this particular section of the course. Students made very inappropriate comments, which can be very discouraging for the students trying to learn. Otherwise, Dr. Sainani did a great job teaching the course and providing great examples.

By Cristina S

Apr 24, 2021

I thought this course was so amazing and insightful. I am 40 years old but I wish I had taken this course in undergrad or even high school! I think every human being should take this. I have recommended it already to so many friends and colleagues. The way you speak is so engaging and the platform was very easy to use. My only critique is that one of the last speakers you had (I forgot her name) said "um" a lot. She was the only speaker that I did not follow as well, only because her "ums" really distracted me.

By Beyza D

Aug 16, 2020

Thank you, Dr. Kristin Sainani, for this fantastic course. I will strongly recommend this course to those who pursue an academic career. Besides its benefits, I enjoyed attending classes. Some editing exercises are a little bit difficult since they are mostly about medical sciences, but overall the content was great. I completed my thesis and published an article before taking the course, but after finishing, I can't stop thinking about how much I could make them better with the tricks I learned from this course.

By Shaymaa A

Oct 7, 2020

Thanks so much Dr. Kristin Sainani for such a great course . This is really what I need to move forward in my career as a researcher. Despite my research area is not biology and medicine, the content was useful, wealth of information and writing principles. I will consider your tips when I write my first research paper. Writing is such a challenging task especially for non-native English speakers, this course make it easier. I will express my gratitude by encouraging my friends and workmates to join the course.

By Arundhathi Y

Jun 2, 2022

Superior in quality!!! Prof Kristin made learning as engaging as can be with the resources at hand. ...Loved the way she made it an enriching experience with interviews with experts. Thoroughly enjoyed the course, made notes from a class lecture, for the first time in years....and I even downloaded the book by Mimi Zeiger that she recommended ..However, I still regret rushing through it in order to see my certificate...

Thank you Professor! I wish I could the honours assignment too, but tied up for now!!

By Mayan G

Oct 26, 2022

I already have some experience in writing and have even already published a few articles, yet I never received formal instruction regarding writing and as in many things in medicine I was expected to "see one, do one, teach one". After completing this course I found out how much my knowledge was lacking and how by just receiving some direction and pointers my writing could improve vastly. Thank you very much for this great course, I will be sure to recommend it to my friends, colleagues, and students.

By Karla M

Jul 13, 2020

This course has been incredibly helpful in advancing my writing skills. The course covers a wide range of topics, from writing scientific articles to writing for the media and lay audiences. Professor Sainani is an amazing writer and her tips and lessons have been very useful; I can already see improvements in my writing. This course is useful for non-native English speakers as well. I loved the real-life examples and stories. Overall, one of the best courses I have taken for professional development.

By Mohamed A

Feb 5, 2023

This course is very (and I mean very) condensed in my opinion. Not only does it prepare you to write your next manuscript at the level of sentences then paragraphs to whole sections of the manuscript, but it also ensures you have the necessary skills you'll need someday in the future as a researcher. Along with its rich content, it's really efficient and moves from one module to the other seamlessly.

Thank you, Dr. Kristin, for this course, whose notes will be a valuable asset to me for a long time.

By Vy N

Jun 15, 2022

A friend introduced me to this course after I told him I was struggling to write essays in my master's degree. English is not my native language, so I was not confident and always worried I would make mistakes. This course is brilliant since the process of writing is broken down into small, managable pieces so I got to understand, practice and gradually build up my confidence. I really like the instructor's way of explaining things, simple yet detailed, and really motivating. Thank you so much!

By Maria R

Mar 13, 2018

I really enjoyed the course. Although the subject can be tedious and boring, this course was neither. It corrected some of my misconceptions regarding scientific writing and hopefully will help me in becoming a better writer. I really like that there are a lot of examples and opportunities to try things out and then compare with the instructor. I also liked that there is a section about the paper review process and what do editors and reviewers look for when they reviewing papers. Thank you!

By Aigerim Z

Apr 18, 2020

This is the best course I've ever studied on Coursera! The content is very practical with tons of tips, examples and exercises. The teacher Dr. Kristin Sainani is very engaging - the speed and the tone of speech make listening and watching video enjoyable (not like many other teachers in here which just read loud out the text), her comments during the video are really important and sometimes funny (I used to skip video lectures at other courses due to monotonous tone of speakers). Thanks!

By Ruijia W

Jan 28, 2019

I've taken this course before it is redirected to coursera (1-2 years ago) and I'm coming back to it. I still enjoy the powerful, simple tips and recommend this course to many colleagues in my field - geophysics. You definitely don't need to be in the medical school to take this course.

A bit personal story: I finished my PhD thesis since the last time I took the course - I'm no longer waiting for inspiration. Thank you for reading this far and thank you for offering this great course.