Writing Research Articles for International Journals

Instructor:Masamba Kah
Updated:3 February, 2016

Course Summary

A research article is the most accepted form of sharing scientific findings and theories. PR-professionals, who often act as interface groups between specialized professionals in a given field and the general public, must have the skill of transposing information presented in a scientific manner according to the target audience. The course is designed to provide the students with theoretical and practical tools necessary for a successful career in shaping and promoting innovative ideas in society. Having completed the course, the students will learn how to find, extract, write and shape relevant information for a given audience.

Course Format

Hours of lectureHours of discussionHours of independent studyTotal numbers of hours

Please note that the time spent on independent study exceeds hours of lecture and discussion.

Course Content

The course will cover the following topics:

  1. Introduction to the Scientific Method
    • Introducing key concepts
    • Prominent scholars
    • Current format
  2. Research Methods
    • Research algorithms
    • Research ethics
    • Experimental design
  3. Types of Literature in Academic Research
    • Conducting literature review
    • How to search for relevant information
      • Electronic libraries
      • Search engines
    • How to read scientific literature
  4. Principles of Academic Writing
    • The writing process
    • Narrative logic
  5. Current Research Article Format
    • IMRAD format
    • Connection between ideas
    • Editing
  6. Academic writing in humanities and natural sciences
    • Writing styles
    • Level of detail
  7. Practical Applications
    • Writing for a conference
    • Writing to introduce a topic
    • Writing a review
    • Content shaping and interpenetration
  8. On the Publisher’s Side
    • Publishing process
    • Peer review
    • Legal obligations

Reading List

Required reading:

  1. Gopen, G. and Swan, J. The Science of Scientific Writing (1990). American Scientist, Vol. 78, 550-558. URL: https://www.americanscientist.org/issues/pub/the-science-of-scientific-writing/99999
  2. Journal of English for Academic Purposes. Elsevier. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/14751585/21

Recommended reading:

  1. Kern, R. (2015). Language, Literacy and Technology. Cambridge University Press.
  2. Svobodova, Z., Katzorke, H., Jaekel. U., Dugovicova, S., Scoggin, M., Treacher, P. Writing in English: A Practical Handbook for Scientific and Technical Writers. European Commission Leonardo da Vinci Program, 2000. URL: https://is.gd/SW53ob
  3. Hewings, M. and Thaine, C. (2012). Cambridge Academic English. An Integrated Skills Course for EAP. Student’s Book. Advanced. Cambridge University Press.
  4. Gauch, H. (2012). Scientific Method in Brief. Cambridge University Press.

Online resources:

  1. Graduate Academic Writing:
  2. Effective Writing for Scholarly Work:
  3. https://webofscience.com

Homework Assignments

  1. Explain the scientific method (essay)
  2. Write a research project proposal
  3. Write a literature review summary
  4. Explain writing style differences between humanities and natural sciences (essay)
  5. Rewrite a research article in a popular science format
  6. Write a research article


It is a pass/fail course. To get a pass, you should complete all the assignments.