“I especially liked that we were directly practising with academic text examples from our own field.”

IZKF, Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen, August 2019

“This was no presentation from the front. We were asked for our priorities and got to participate throughout.”

IZKF, Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen, August 2019

“The facilitator made this topic really interesting. She is very talented at explaining.”

IZKF, Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen, August 2019

“This workshop exceeded my expectations!”

IMPRS, Max Planck Institute in Molecular Physiology, Dortmund, June 2019

“I wouldn’t change a single thing!”

IMPRS, Max Planck Institute in Molecular Physiology, Dortmund 2019

“This was a great course that gave a really good overview of writing for publication”

Women in Academia Mentoring Programme, University of Bamberg, April 2019

“Really helpful material and explanations!”

Women in Academia Mentoring Programme, University of Bamberg, April 2019

“Very helpful, I learned a lot of new things I can use!”

Women in Academia Mentoring Programme, University of Bamberg, April 2019

“I can easily apply the information to my work”

Women in Academia Mentoring Programme, University of Bamberg, April 2019

“Extremely useful at this stage!”

Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen, February 2019

“Was super-helpful to receive detailed language- and style-related feedback”

IMPRS, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen, February 2019

“The facilitator was fantastic. She made it really fun and still maintained a professional productive atmosphere. I learned a lot while enjoying it immensely.”

IMPRS, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen, February 2019

“This workshop really helps our first years set off in the right direction, as well as arming them with better writing and editing skills.”

IMPRS Programme Coordinator, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen, February 2019

“This workshop didn’t just improve my writing. It also helped me to read/analyse/understand other scientific papers more effectively”

IMPRS, Max Planck Institute in Molecular Physiology, Dortmund, April 2018

“The atmosphere really encouraged learning. Everything could be asked”

IMPRS, Max Planck Institute in Molecular Physiology, Dortmund, October 2018

“Love the ‘verb list’ and the ‘formal alternatives’! They will really help me”

Trimberg Research Academy, University of Bamberg, June 2018

“This course has been useful in multiple ways. I not only feel more confident about writing my report, but I now know how to read other papers better”

IMPRS, Max Planck Institute in Molecular Physiology, Dortmund, June 2018

“I got really useful and reliable information that I wouldn’t have known how to find elsewhere”

Trimberg Research Academy, University of Bamberg, June 2018

“I appreciated the opportunity to ask many, many questions and the fact that the facilitator took the time to answer all of them.”

GRK 2162 “Neurodevelopment and vulnerability of the central nervous system”, Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen, April 2018

Training:
The essentials
of academic
writing

Before they can actively participate in the dialogue within their research field, many early stage researchers must first develop their proficiency in academic English. BETA offers specialist training to help participants through this process, familiarising them with the writing conventions adopted in their particular field and providing them with practical tools to improve their English academic writing skills.

Overview

This introductory course offers a practical guide to writing academic texts (e.g. progress reports, abstracts for conferences and research articles) in English. Training is delivered in short intensive in-house workshops and participants learn the key elements of academic writing through a combination of instruction, guided practice, discussion and individual feedback on practical assignments.

Target group

Post-graduate students, post-doctoral students and faculty members. Training can be provided for both individuals and small groups (max. 12) from a post-graduate programme, research group or university department. It is recommended that participants have a similar degree of research experience and come from similar disciplinary backgrounds.

Course content

This course consists of two key strands, one focusing on language use and the other on structuring. A typical example is shown below.

Structural component:

  • Articulating your key message
  • Developing a structure
  • The Abstract: Drawing your reader in
  • The Introduction: Positioning your research
  • Methods and Results: Detailing your experiments and presenting your findings
  • The Discussion: Putting your findings in context and communicating your key message

Language component:

  • General guiding principles
  • Formality and precision
  • Cohesion and flow
  • Punctuation and grammar
Method

Every workshop uses authentic materials from the participants’ disciplines. The structural component is based on a genre analysis approach, identifying critical steps in each section of the target text. The language component includes short practical exercises within the disciplinary context. All participants have the opportunity to write a short first draft of a text section and received detailed individual feedback. Small groups foster a relaxed atmosphere, encouraging a high degree of interaction.

Course Format/Duration

Workshops typically consist of ten 90-minute units, although this can be modified according to individual requirements. Whilst the format is flexible, two options are particularly popular:

Standard:
The standard format consists of two 90-minute units per day over five days (e.g. Monday to Friday, 09:00-12:15). This provides the maximum opportunity for writing practice in the afternoons, allowing participants to practise and consolidate what they have learned in the morning.

Intensive:
This format comprises two full days (e.g. 09:00-16:30) and one half-day (e.g. 09:00-12:15). This option is appropriate for those with limited time available.

Course fees
Course fees will vary according to the duration of the course and the number of participants involved. Fee for standard course (ten 90-minute units and 12 participants): €1750 + expenses (travel, accommodation, printing of handouts)
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