Scientific Writing

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Cross Jeffrey Scott 
Thr3-4(EEI-211 G115)  
Lecture1  Exercise1  Experiment0
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
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Spring Semester

Outline of lecture

This course uses a task-based learning approach to teach scientific writing skills to science and engineering graduate students. The classroom time is divided into lecture, group discussion/work on lecture topics, and student-student peer review/editing of written assignments. The tasks covered in the course consist of writing e-mail messages, conference abstracts, course/lecture notes, business letters, CV/resume, research paper, thesis and patent.

Purpose of lecture

The purpose of teaching this course is for non-native English language speaking science and engineering graduate students to learn basic technical English writing skills needed for research activities and technical communications.

Plan of lecture

1. Course introduction, self-introduction, course sign-up, syllabus, course questionnaire and Moodle.
2. Written personal communications and conversational strategies for group work
3. Touch typing trial and drills (how many words per minute can you type?), taking notes from lectures and letter writing group work (Moodle)
4. The written case study and research question approach vs. scientific method
5. Academic publishing縲(mpact factors, and online searching strategies of the published literature
6. Guest Lecture by Managing Editor at Macmillan Science Communication Asia-Pacific
7-8. Writing papers for top tier journals and academic journals including exercises
9. Plagiarism, publishing ethics, retractions, and case studies of academic misconduct
10. Peer review, rubrics, and groupwork including self-assessment vs. peer assessment differences
11. In class, peer evaluation of student workshop extended abstracts and feedback (MISW)
12. Writing a research proposal and thesis
13. Writing a resume (online-linkedin), biosketch or CV
14. What is intellectual property, how to write a patent and patent claims.
15. Course evaluation survey, course feedback and current sci-writing topic

Textbook and reference

An outline of lecture notes will be made available on the course Moodle website and students working in groups will be assigned to prepare the detailed course notes of each lecture.
Reference books from which course material was taken are listed below.
1. "Academic Writing: A Handbook for International Students", Stephen Bailey, Routledge, 3rd ed. 2011.
2. "Writing Science: How to Write Papers That Get Cited and Proposals That Get Funded", Joshua Schimel, Oxford University Press, 2011.
3. "Science Research Writing: A Guide for Non-Native Speakers of English", Hilary Glasman-Deal, Imperial College Press, 2009.
4. "The Craft of Research (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)"
Booth, Wayne C., University of Chicago Press, 3rd ed., 2008.
5. "A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers", Kate L. Turabian, 8th Ed., University of Chicago Press, 2013.

Related and/or prerequisite courses

An advanced conversational English ability (TOEIC score > 650 points or equivalent) is required for taking this class and for participating in groupwork exercises in-class. Please bring a notebook PC, tablet PC, or IPad preferably with a keyboard/internet browser and Wi-Fi (titech-pubnet) or WiMax capability beginning with the 4/19 class. Class attendance is limited to 20 students and if more than 20 students are enrolled, preference is given to ACEEES leading doctoral program students.


Course Grade Assessment: 30% attendance/participation and 70% writing assignments (group/individual). Attendance (compulsory), in-class participation in groupwork, course note taking, and completion of homework assignments. Three or more unexcused absences from class will result in an "incomplete" as the course grade. Late homework will be accepted after the submission deadline but assessed after taking into account a 30% point reduction or penalty. All homework assignments must be submitted in order to receive a final grade for this course. Optional homework writing assignments will be given for extra credit.

Comments from lecturer

This class is being taught as an ACEEES leading doctoral program core course. This course will be taught on the Ookayama campus in the EEI-211 classroom with video linkage to the Suzukakedai G115 classroom. The class dates, topics, and classroom location may change in order to accommodate classroom observation by visitors.
The course will use online media extensively and a restricted access open source learning platform website using Moodle( Although the course basic syllabus is available on OCW, the course website will be the main depository. Touch typing (typing without looking at your fingers on the keyboard) is an important skill that is needed for this class, since real-time in-class group writing and discussion will take place.
Students who are ready to submit a paper to a journal for publication or present their results at an international conference will benefit the most from enrolling in this class.

Contact Information

Jeffrey S. Cross, e: cross.j.aaツシ, t: x3723

Office Hours

After class or by appointment


The instructor is a native English speaker with a USA Midwestern accent (standard).

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