LSC 560: Scientific Writing Summer 2021

The department of Life Sciences Communication is a world leader in science communication research, education and practice. We invite both scientists and communications professionals to join us this summer for LSC 560: Scientific Writing.

This online course runs June 14-July 18, 2021 with an asynchronous structure so you can fit it into your busy lifestyle.

Experienced scientists will tell you they spend 50 percent or more of their time authoring grant proposals, manuscripts, reports, book chapters, and online content, not to mention crafting language for research talks and posters. Being able to do this well — that is, to explain research clearly and persuade others that it’s important — is critical to success in science, especially in today’s increasingly interdisciplinary research environment

This course is focused on demystifying the rhetorical moves and principles that underlie both strong scientific argument and writing that is clear, coherent, and compelling. Students will learn how to structure their writing to meet the needs of different academic audiences and to apply the elements of story to more fully engage these audiences. The overall goal is to prepare help students in the course develop writing and speaking skills that they can apply in their own research and professional practice.

Although this course focuses on writing for a broad, interdisciplinary audience of researchers, the fundamental concepts and skills it covers apply to communicating with many other audiences, as well, including policy makers, managers, doctors, foundations and NGOs, and the public.

I’m interested in signing up for this course, what’s next?

Professionals and non-UW students who want to take LSC online courses and are not currently enrolled students, need to first complete a free application to be a UW-Madison “special student” at least one month prior to the start of the course in order to enroll in courses at the university. The application can be found here.

Applicants will be asked to select their student status in the application. Most likely, professionals interested in courses offered by the Department of Life Sciences Communication will fall under the category of UNDS (Professional Development or Personal Interest) or UNRS (Preparation for Admission to Graduate or Professional School).

Please Note: The special student application asks for a statement of interest, but this can be a short sentence stating the class of interest.

Information about special student tuition and fees can be found on the Adult Career and Special Student Services’ tuition and fees webpage.

For additional information on special student status, refer to the university special student section of the UW-Madison Continuing Studies website.

Contact Tera Holtz Wagner at if you have any questions!