The University of

Scientific and Technical Writing and Research
GEOL 6970

Online Course

Overview of Scientific Writing and Research

Instructor:  Susan Nash, Ph.D.
Contact e-mail:

Start Date:  February 10, 2003
End Date:    May 1, 2003

Scientific and Technical Writing and Research Menu

Home Page
Unit 1:  Your Research Proposal -- initial writing and research
Unit 2:  Your dissertation or thesis:  Outline, section drafts, understanding abstracts
Unit 3:  Grammar and Style Review // Revisions
Unit 4:  Final Report

Other Resources

American Geological Institute
Geological Society of America
American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Society of Exploration Geophysicists

Turabian Style Guide
Author Information:  GSA

Course Overview: This course is a research methods and scientific/technical writing course which involves online research, literature searches, developing annotated bibliographies of technical articles, citing technical sources, writing abstracts, research paper planning, organizing and outlining scientific and technical papers and articles, draft and revision processes, and style/grammar for technical and scientific papers.  It is of particular use to individuals who are working on theses or dissertations.

Course Objectives: Upon successfully completing this course, the student will be able to conduct scientific research, evaluate sources, assemble an annotated bibliography, use proper formats to cite sources in a scientific manner, research a scientific paper, outline and draft the paper, revise it, and create a high-quality finished product.  In addition, the student will gain an understanding of the correct approaches to Internet-based research, and the proper ways to use and cite sources.  The successful student will demonstrate a deep understanding of intellectual property and how and why plagiarism can occur, either intentionally or unintentionally.  The student will be prepared to accomplish necessary writing tasks in the thesis and dissertation writing process.

Description of Work Required and Procedures for Submitting Work:  Students will conduct research, write essays, revise work, and assemble a final project, which they will submit via e-mail.  Outstanding student work is a) completed on time and e-mailed to the instructor on or before the deadline; b) demonstrates an understanding of the content covered in the assignment; c) demonstrates an understanding of the requirements of the assignment; d) produces a clear, coherent paper, with accurate citations, good syntax and grammar, good organization; and e) shows a depthful and thought-provoking synthesis of research.

Grading Procedures:
Research exercises - 20%
Writing exercises - 60%
Final project - 20%

Unit 1: 
Due  March 10
Unit 2:  Due March 31
Unit 3:  Due April 15
Unit 4:  Due April 30