Effective Writing for Biomedical Professionals

Course summary

Effective Writing for Biomedical Professionals



Overview

This intensive course will help you write more clearly and meaningfully for a wide range of audiences. It is highly interactive and the participants' objectives will govern a substantial part of the course content.

Who is it for?

The course is tailored to the needs of professionals working in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, in healthcare or in scientific research and development. It is suitable for anyone who needs to write scientific papers and reports, and present information to colleagues, management, external organisations or the general public. The course is suitable for participants with a wide range of backgrounds and does not require any specialist subject knowledge.

Programme details

Course Content

Day 1

9.00-10.30: The writing process - and the elements of style
Exercise (group) and discussion - defining the features of scientific writing
Modifying your writing style to ensure the message is clear for different audiences

Achieving clarity and precision: words, sentences. Choice of words and phrases
Exercise (individual) - rewriting awkward sentences

10.30-10.45: Break

10.45-12.30: Issues such as active/passive, tense, ambiguity, punctuation and the role of paragraphs
Exercise (individual) - write a paragraph about your project

How to plan, draft and edit. Planning techniques, top-level and detailed planning
Exercise (individual) - make a brief document plan

12:30-13:30: Lunch

13:30-15:00: Exercise (individual/pairs) - make a top-level plan for a paper/report
Drafting and editing. Integrating the writing process into your research.

Planning and presenting an effective argument. Making good use of evidence. Understanding the importance of narrative.
Exercise (group) and discussion - how to develop an argument

Techniques for convincing your reader that your interpretation/argument is correct
Exercise (pairs) and discussion - examine a piece of writing and identify the techniques used

15:00-15:15: Break

15:15-17:00: Technical report writing
Discussion of key characteristics. Looking at examples to illustrate issues.
Exercise (pairs) improving the logical flow in a piece of writing

Day 2

9.00-10.30: Titles, abstracts and executive summaries
The importance of a good title and effective abstract / summary
How to select the key points for an abstract or summary
Exercise (individual) – the importance of a good opening sentence
Exercise (pairs) – pick out the key points in example abstracts

10:30-10:45: Break

10.45-12.30: Exercise (individual) – analysis of example abstracts and summaries

12:30-13:30: Lunch

13:30-15.00: Exercise (individual and pairs) - write an abstract and/or modify an abstract you have brought with you

How to approach the sections of a paper or report
Exercise (group)

Perfecting your document – improving your writing style

Style issues: word and phrase repetition, effective punctuation, flow, impact.
Exercise (pairs) – modify an allocated piece of writing to make it more effective

15.00-15.15: Break

15:15-16:30: Exercise (individual/pairs) – go back to the paragraph written on day 1 and modify to make it more effective

Adapting your writing style for different audiences. Why it is important to consider your audience. Different styles of writing for different situations.
Exercise (individual) - writing a non-expert summary

Question and answer session

17:00 approximately - course ends

First day registration from 8.30am when course materials will be distributed. Refreshments from 8.30am on the first day plus two 30 minute breaks during the day and a one-hour lunch break. The course will begin at 9.00am and end at approximately 5.00pm on day one and 4.30pm on day two.

Please note that the course programme may be subject to change.

Certification

Participants who attend the full course will receive a Certificate of Attendance. The sample shown is an illustration only and the wording will reflect the course and dates attended.

Accommodation

Accommodation is available at the Rewley House Residential Centre, within the Department for Continuing Education, in central Oxford. The comfortable, en-suite, study-bedrooms have been rated as 4-Star Campus accommodation under the Quality In Tourism scheme, and come with tea- and coffee-making facilities, free Wi-Fi access and Freeview TV. Guests can take advantage of the excellent dining facilities and common room bar, where they may relax and network with others on the programme.

Fees

Standard course fee: £795.00

Payment

We offer a 10% discount to students in full-time higher education. To apply at the discounted rate, please contact us for details: email cpdpersonaldev@conted.ox.ac.uk or telephone: +44(0)1865 286958

We offer several payment options:

Pay immediately online by credit or debit card

Click the “book now” button on this webpage to pay online with a credit or debit card

Pay later with your preferred payment method

Send a completed application form to the course administrator by e-mail or post, and choose:

  • Request an invoice
  • BACS payment
  • Cheque payment
  • Credit or debit card payment. Please do not send card details via email

Fees include course materials, tuition, refreshments and lunches. The price does not include accommodation.

All courses are VAT exempt.

Tutors

Dr Shirley Ellis

Presenter

Writing and Publishing Consultant

Shirley was an active research scientist in the field of molecular immunology for more than three decades, initially at Oxford University and then at a Research Council-funded Institute. During this time she published more than 80 peer-reviewed articles.

She has a long-standing interest in postgraduate skills training, and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). 

She was awarded an MA in creative and critical writing at the University of Sussex in 2008 and an Honorary Professorship at the University of Glasgow in 2009.

In 2012 she left research and became a full-time freelance trainer, offering a variety of workshops involving writing skills mostly for postgraduate students and early-career scientists. 

Shirley is passionate about good writing, and her aim is to encourage and enable scientists to make the results of their work more accessible, both to their peers and to the general public.

Course aims

  • Communicate key messages quickly and persuasively
  • Demonstrate your professionalism through 'effective writing'
  • Combine rigorous scientific accuracy with readability and impact
  • Avoid embarrassing mistakes
  • Plan content & structure for maximum effect

Application

If you would like to discuss your application or any part of the application process before applying, please contact:


Course Administrator
Tel: +44 (0)1865 286958
Email: CPDPersonalDev@conted.ox.ac.uk

Level and demands

The course is tailored to the needs of professionals working in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, in healthcare or in scientific research and development. It is suitable for anyone who needs to write scientific papers and reports, and present information to colleagues, management, external organisations or the general public. The course is suitable for participants with a wide range of backgrounds and does not require any specialist subject knowledge.