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

Academic Writing for Science (Wintersemester 2021/2022)

Dozent: Dr. Sharon Therese Nemeth

Allgemeine Information

  • Semesterwochenstunden: 2
  • ECTS: 3
  • Benotet: Ja
  • Einschreibefrist: 01.10.-22.10.2021
  • Lehrform: Seminar
  • Belegungsart: Wahlpflichtmodul
  • Lehrsprache: Englisch
  • Maximale Teilnehmerzahl: 15

Studiengänge, Modulgruppen & Module

IT-Systems Engineering MA
  • Professional Skills
    • HPI-PSK-KO Kommunikation
Data Engineering MA
Digital Health MA
Cybersecurity MA


Informationen im Hinblick auf die aktuelle Corona-Krise: Für die Veranstaltung ist ein Präsenzformat geplant. Sollte die Lage eine Umstellung auf ein virtuelles Format erfordern, informieren wir Sie reichtzeitig. (Stand: 28.9.2021)

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:

This course aims to take the mystery out of scientific writing by teaching the skills necessary to produce a well-written paper in English. In this sense, we will concentrate on language, specifically how words are used and how to aim for the best writing possible - centering on those qualities crucial to the positive reception of writing within the scientific community. Through close attention to written language, participants will learn what comprises clear, concise, and effective expression, and deepen this knowledge in class.

Emphasis will be placed on acquiring the skills to differentiate between strong and weak scientific writing, recognizing the essential qualities of good writing, and applying what has been learned in practical terms through coursework and in-class exercises.  We will focus on many of the typical writing problems of advanced writers of English and learn how to resolve them. At the end of the course, students should be able to edit their own writing more effectively.

Members of the course are asked to give a short presentation based on their assessment of a writing excerpt (maximum 2 pages) from a scientific text of their choice.

Lern- und Lehrformen

Because communication is a prime element of this course, if conditions make it possible, on-site participation is preferable and highly encouraged. 


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

The final grade will be determined as follows: 50% of the grade is based on the average of the midterm and final exams points, 30% is based on participation and 20% on the presentation .

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

Contributions to all of the above-mentioned areas benefit the final assessment, just as a lack thereof affects the final grade on a subtractive basis.


Thursdays, 9:15 to 10:45

Exam dates: 

Midterm:            December 16, 2021
Final exam:        February 17, 2022

Room: xxx