WRI 503: Writing an Effective Scientific Research Article

Open to graduate students in quantitative fields of science, social science, or engineering who have completed sufficient research to begin writing an article for publication.

The scientific research article is a tightly compressed document: it presents persuasive arguments while simultaneously communicating precisely what was done, exactly what happened, what it might mean, and why it all matters. In this course, students develop their expertise in scientific writing by drafting a research article based on their original research. Students learn the elements of successful writing in science and engineering: 1) How to recognize and use the persuasive aspects of conventional written structure; 2) how to use analysis, feedback, and revision to develop and maintain a strong collaborative writing process; and 3) how to craft clear, concise, and compelling arguments to establish new scientific knowledge.

WRI 503 is a half-term course, meeting for 3 hours once a week for 6 weeks. Each week focuses on a different section of the research article; students prepare each week by drafting a section of their article and reading the drafts of other class members. Students participate in two individual conferences with the instructor and a final conference that includes the student’s research adviser.

Note:  WRI 503 assumes considerable experience in written critical analysis of the scientific literature in English; students without recent experience, including most international students, should complete WRI 501 before applying to WRI 503.


Review the Frequently Asked Questions.

For more information about WRI 503, please contact [email protected].

2023-24 Courses

Fall semester first half-term

September 5 - October 13, Tuesdays 1:30 - 4:20 p.m.

Fall semester second half-term

October 23 - December 7, Tuesdays 1:30 - 4:20 p.m.

Spring semester first half-term

January 29 - March 8, Tuesdays 1:30 - 4:20 p.m.

Spring semester, second half-term

March 18 - April 26, Tuesdays 1:30 - 4:20 p.m.

Apply to WRI 503