WRI 501: Reading and Writing about the Scientific Literature

Open to students in quantitative fields science, social science, and engineering who have completed at least one semester of graduate school.    

This course explores how scientific articles are constructed and interpreted, how research findings are presented, and how scientific arguments are developed. Students learn to engage the scientific literature critically, to read and analyze efficiently, to distinguish their own work from previous work, and to cite and report the work of others responsibly and accurately. The course is especially helpful for students new to academic writing in English who wish 1) to develop their critical written analysis in preparation for writing proposals and/or general examinations, or 2) to engage confidently in conversations about writing with their coauthors and collaborators.

WRI 501 is a half-term course and meets two times a week for six weeks. For each class, students read research articles and write informal critical responses to exchange with other class members. Students end the course by writing a short review of the science and engineering literature relevant to their research projects. Students who complete WRI 501 are eligible to enroll in either WRI 502, “Writing a Persuasive Proposal in Quantitative Disciplines,” or WRI 503, “Writing an Effective Scientific Research Article.”


Review the Frequently Asked Questions.

For more information about WRI 501, please contact [email protected].

2023-24 Courses

Fall semester second half-term

October 24 - December 7, T/Th 11:00 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.

Spring semester first half-term

January 29 - March 8, T/Th, 1:30 - 2:50 pm

Apply to WRI 501