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.
Hello Kristin\n\nThank you for teaching me the basics of academic writing and editing with proper grammar. In this course, I was introduced to the scientific panel which further enriched my knowledge.
By Evaluation R•
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By Mehdi K•
The main instructor is a great teacher. I have particularly enjoyed the first half of the course that gives general writing tips, applicable to manuscripts as well as lay articles. I enjoyed the optional edit videos, they are very informative. The anecdotes about writers/scientists/plagiarism, etc. are also very entertaining.
The second half of the course is not always as focused on writing (e.g. interviewing/being interviewed, social media, etc.), which is ok, but not what I expected. For example, I did not find Amy Adams' videos very useful. For social media in particular, I expected to learn how to write punchy yet accurate social media posts (since this course is about writing). Instead, the video was more of an introduction to "what is social media".
The certificate provided by Stanford Online has some layout issues, I hope this can be fixed soon.
Overall I recommend this course for beginner writers, it is very useful!
By Carlos C•
I really liked this course. This is the first time someone taught me how to write effectively for different purposes. I mean, teaching these things is so valuable, but no professor I have had since high school has ever taken the time to teach this simple concepts with examples as well, such as cutting the clutter, using more verbs, using the active voice instead of the passive voice, etc. Although I started this course to just learn how to write effectively, I didn't like the last units because they consisted on how to write papers, how to submit them, etc., and I wasn't searching for that. But for everything else, excellent course and excellent professor. The course is designed to constantly test your skills and make sure you learns all the writing principles. Also, and especially for me that English is not my native language, I have seen that I can use this principles to write effectively in Spanish.
By Nedyu Y•
I was searching for slightly different course, more in direction 'Medical writing', and found by chance the one by Dr. Kristin Sainani. Still, I found the course very useful! I is structured very well and covers all topics needed for academic writing. It goes even beyond, covering particular types of written pieces like review papers, grants, letters of recommendation, and personal essays. I found units 1, 2, 3, discussing the key principles of effective writing at grammatical level, very useful, but my favourite was unit 8 about the communication to broader audiences (e.g. writing newsletter articles) including handling media relations. Great asset of the course are the live demos - really excellent job! Units 4, 5, 6, 7 were very informative, but less useful for my area of work.
A small recommendation would be to improve the sound of some few videos.
By John W•
A very nice overview of writing for the sciences -- everything from journal articles, peer reviews, letters of recommendation, to news items and press releases. Many of the main points were known to me -- remove jargon, use the active voice -- were already known to me, but it always good to be reminded. I also learned some new things -- for example, I had never heard of a "nut-graf" before!
One suggestion for improvement: the series of (three?) interviews with Kristin's colleagues were somewhat repetitive. I believe she asked the same series of questions to each of the three subjects. It would have been better, in my opinion, to focus on different topics with each one, and give each interview its own unique subject.
All in all, a very well-organized and well-taught class.
By Styliani K•
The course is overall very informative, the professor thoroughly explains the subject. The only problem I had with the course has nothing to do with the course itself, but I took the course without a certificate and at the end of every video, a message popped up to remind me to ask for a certificate if I wanted. The issue here is that the questions after every video appeared, almost every time, at the very end of the video and as a result, the pop-up covered the questions, so I couldn't answer. Apart from that, the course was very helpful and I think every scientist should be able to make their paper interesting and that's exactly the skill that this course teaches you!
By Daniel P•
I think this course could have been completed in a shorter amount of time. Some of the stuff in the later weeks seemed like filler information. The grant writing section was very repetitive as were the interviews with the journal editors. I could have done without the information on media interviews, social media, panels altogether. I think that time would have been better spent on coursework about writing/formatting manuscripts. All in all I thought this was a very helpful course I will took a lot of notes that I am sure I will use in my future writing projects.
By Sherrill H•
I would recommend this as an interesting and useful course for coming to grips with difficulties faced when communicating scientific activity to non-scientists and also for thinking about how to promote/market one's own research to others within the scientific field, like funding committees or journal editors. I'm still not convinced that peer assessment adds much to the quality of learning, at this level, because course participants represent such a wide range of scientific knowledge and experience.
By Aleem A•
This is really useful and informative course for both beginners and advanced level researchers. I learned many practical things from this course which will continue to help me throughout my academic career. I suggest some reordering of the units for future editions of the course: for example: the first three units delved right into the sentence-level editing. It would be much more efficient and engaging if the next editions start right from the pre-writing phase (unit 4 of the current course).
By Rouletta B•
Very informative, most of the information is presented in a way that is easily viewed and understood. The biggest con is that when the edits/markups are performed using pen/pencil on the slides are basically impossible to see on the Coursera format. If we could view them full screen or as actual slides it might be easier, but to try to follow someone's edits verbally is really difficult. Overall the course was fantastic!
By Akshay w•
The course offers you all the fundamental and comprehensive guidelines in a very practical and easy to understands way.Dr.Kristin Sainani is a great tutor. I loved the optional editing videos, they really gave me an insight into editing. I would recommend this course to everyone who wants to hone his/her skills in Scientific Writing. I hope Coursera comes up with more such courses on scientific and medical writing.
By Peter P•
Excellent content and presentations by Dr Sainani, I learned many good techniques and tips. The grant writing videos by guest speakers are a bit dry and lack Dr Sainani's drive, but nonetheless contain important information. Some good reading list recommendations. I highly recommend this course, and although some of it is looking very slightly dated the writing and gammar tips never age.
By K T S•
Overall I really liked this course. Even with many years of experience in writing and publishing papers, I learnt a lot. There were certain instances where I did not agree with Dr. Sainani's recommendations. But one's writing choice and style sometimes boils down to personal taste and the scientific content. I hope there is an advanced version of this course in the near future.
By Stacey C•
I really enjoyed the beginning part of this course, with lots of tips on how to remove clutter, cut out jargon and improve clarity. The latter part of the course- discussing how to do media interviews etc. didn't feel like it belonged in the course. I loved the parts that focused on preparing manuscripts, as that will have a lot of value to me down the road.
By Ashley H•
This was a really great course and was worth my time. It provided me with a number of strategies to make my science writing clear and succinct without losing important scientific concepts needed for my field. It also had me consider best practices in summarizing my findings for audiences outside of my field, outside of science, and for the public.
By Oscar R•
Excellent course. Dr. Kristin Sainani shares her knowledge and expertise in 8 weeks of simple and complete lessons. I encourage every person involve in Science to take a course like this. Communication and dissemination of your research is as important as the research itself.
By Thomas P D•
This course is applicable to both beginning and experienced writers. I took this course as a refresher and found it worthwhile. Units 1-6 were most helpful with units 7-8 less so but these units are focused on those in Academia. Overall, a good course and worth the time.