4004649: Scientific Writing

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Semester:WS 15/16
Lektionen / Semester:33.2 L / 25.0 h
Selbststudium:50.0 h



Doktoratsstudium Wirtschaftswissenschaften (01.09.2008)
Doktoratsstudium Architektur und Raumentwicklung (01.09.2010)



This course is designed to give first year PhD Students an aid for their academic endeavour. Just like in Research Design, the focus lies on methodological competences. At the same time, however, this course also aims at techniques rather than design strategies. The objective is to provide core compentences on how to craft a scientific text properly. Due to the concept of peer-monitoring applied in this course also social competencies will be trained.

During the first year students will be working on their academic writing style, they will be made familiar with normative writing styles and ways to publish tackling various kinds of genres, and they will help and learn from each other through peer-monitoring activities. As a base sample texts will be used and the texts students will be producing will be worked on. The course is built on four pillars:

  • Text Coaching:
    How to write academically: spelling, grammar, academic vocabulary, numbers, abbreviations, tables, figures, etc.
  • Knowledge Management:
    Working with databases, literature management softwares, etc.
  • Publishing:
    How to write and publish various genres: abstracts, research papers, articles, data commentaries, reviews, project proposals, formatting, etc.
  • Peer-Mentoring:
    Giving and receiving feed-back, presenting and reviewing, considering peer-feedback, joint writing activities, etc.

During the course, students will maintain a blog which they will be feeding with weekly entries about their research activities and they will comment on two other PhD Students' blogs. This way, they will structure their thoughts and ideas and it will stimulate transparency and exchange about what they individually and what peer-students are working on. This will help learning how to give and receive feed-back, and it will be monitored by supervisors helping in giving individualised feed-back.

At the end of the course students will hand in a portfolio containing all the texts they have written and the blog entries and comments they will have made.

During the course, plenary speakers will be invited from various fields organising a workshop with students on particular issues of academic writing in genre-specific areas.


Students will be acquainted with principles of academic writing, normative writing, publishing, and peer-mentoring.


By the end of the course they will be able to make use of academic vocabulary, they will be able to discuss texts, tables, charts, and figures, and they will be sensitised about their personal and academic command of the English language.

They will be familiar with reference management systems, working with databases, formatting written texts, and academic values.

They will know principles of certain academic genres, like abstracts, research papers, articles, data commentaries, reviews, project proposals, etc.

They will be able to give and consider peer-feed-back, present and review, and they will be able to carry out joint writing activities, etc.



Workshops, one-on-one and think-pair-share sessions, individual and guided e-learning.

Voraussetzungen (inhaltlich)



  • Bailey, S. (2006) Academic Writing. A Handbook for International Students, Lond, New York: Routledge.
  • Huff, Anne (1998) Writing for Scholarly Publication, London (et al.): Sage.
  • McCarthy, M., O'Dell, F. (2008) Academic Vocabulary in Use. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Swales, J., Feak C. (2004) Academic Writing for Graduate Students, University of Michigan Press.
  • Turabian, K.L. ( 2007) A Manual for Writers of Research. Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. Chicago, London: Chicago University Press.


Assessment modalities split up into the three parts "Text Discussion" (1), "Participation in Discussions" (2), "Regular Blog Updates" (3).

The parts are specified as follows:

1. Text Discussion:
Each participant engages actively into a 45-minute-text-discussion-phase about a text of a fellow student; Each participant delivers a text to be discussed jointly.

2. Each participant must at least take part into the discussion of five texts.

3. Each participant must blog once a week and deliver at least two peer-feedbacks on other fellow students' blogs once a week.


  • PWW-DS_Scientific Writing (WS 15/16, in Bewertung)