Hasso-Plattner-Institut25 Jahre HPI
Hasso-Plattner-Institut25 Jahre HPI

Academic Writing for Science (Sommersemester 2024)

Lecturer: Dr. Sharon Therese Nemeth

General Information

  • Weekly Hours: 2
  • Credits: 3
  • Graded: yes
  • Enrolment Deadline: 01.04.2024 - 15.04.2024
  • Examination time §9 (4) BAMA-O: 10.07.2024
  • Teaching Form: Seminar
  • Enrolment Type: Compulsory Elective Module
  • Course Language: English
  • Maximum number of participants: 15

Programs, Module Groups & Modules

IT-Systems Engineering MA
Data Engineering MA
Digital Health MA
Cybersecurity MA
Software Systems Engineering MA
  • Professional Skills
    • HPI-PSK-KT Technology Communication and Transfer


Scientific writing is not a science. It does not contain laws obtained through derivations and experiments. Scientific writing is a craft. It consists of skills that are developed through study and practice. Moreover, scientific writing is not mystical. In fact, scientific writing is straightforward. Unlike other forms of writing … scientific writing has two specific goals: to inform readers and to persuade readers.”

–Michael Alley, “The Craft of Scientific Writing”

“Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler.”

–Albert Einstein

Course Description:

The course, “Academic Writing for Science” aims to take the mystery out of scientific writing by providing knowledge and practice in the skills necessary to produce a well-written scientific paper in English. Our focus is on those qualities crucial to the positive reception of written work within the scientific community.

Participants learn what comprises clear, concise, and effective written expression. We practice identifying and resolving problems in areas that are often obstacles to good writing. In this sense, we target language and punctuation.

In new course content, participants also learn how to structure and design sentences and paragraphs for the most effective presentation of written work.  The principles we learn will help improve all professional and academic writing.

While acquiring the skills necessary to differentiate between strong and weak scientific writing, participants gain confidence in their own writing abilities. We apply what we have learned through coursework and in-class exercises.  At the end of the course, students will be able to edit their own writing more effectively.

Class members are required to give a short presentation based on their assessment of a writing excerpt (maximum 2 pages) from a scientific text of their choice.






Lecture; discussions; presentations by students


In-class participation, performance, and progress. A mid-term test and a final test, based on points covered in the course and writing exercises.

The final grade is based on the average of the midterm and final exams points. The oral presentation is a pre-requisite to completion of the course.

Participation in class discussions plays an important role in this course, as does holding the oral presentation and completing writing activities.


The seminar will be held on Wednesdays from 9:15 - 10:45 AM.

Exam dates

Midterm: May 29th, 2024

Final: July 10th, 2024

Room: K-1.02

Contact: Sharon.Nemeth(at)hpi.uni-potsdam.de