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Scientific Writing Online "Shortie": The Introduction

Course Objective:

If you want your paper to be cited, you will need to pull in your readers. Writing an interesting and convincing title and abstract is only half the battle; you will also need an introduction section that awakens your readers’ interest and is clear, to the point and informative. It sets out your roadmap – telling them how you plan to develop your topic and what your line of argument is. In this workshop, you will learn what to include in the introduction and, in particular, how to weave together a story. Another skill is mastering different ways of making reference to the literature, and being able to say the same things that have been said many times before in an interesting, intriguing way.

Feedback is one of the best learning experiences: In Module 2, participants will be given individual feedback on their texts in order to strengthen their future writing skills.


Module 1a: The Introduction (1 hour)

  • Organizing the introduction section
  • Ensuring continuity and making your story clear with topic sentences
  • Using signalling language to highlight your question and experimental approach
  • Referring to the literature
  • A brief look at verb tenses used in the introduction
  • Phrasebank of useful language

 Module 1b: Language and style: Writing clearly and concisely (1 hour)

  • Paragraph structure: forest followed by trees
  • Writing short, concise sentences
  • Improving word order
  • Internet resources

Module 2: Feedback (1.5 hour)

  • The group and trainer provide feedback on texts

It is possible to participate in Module 1 only.

Target audience:
Doctoral students and clinician scientists

Maximum number of participants: unlimited for Modules 1a and b, 3 participants per group for Module 2

Methodology: Input by trainer, Q&A, writing and editing own text, feedback.


Module 1a and b: come prepared with questions on the topic

Module 2: write (part of) proposal/grant application (1/2-1 page A4). Your text will be proofread/edited by two/three other students and the trainer and discussed in the session.

Please check that your PC meets the requirements beforehand (microphone, camera, Internet connection).  

Next workshop: TBA

For module 1 0.3 CP and for both modules 1 CP for transferable skills training can be credited.


Ivonne Dietzel
Program Coordinator
Bldg. 907, Room 01-212
University Medical Center
Langenbeckstr. 1
55131 Mainz

Tel. +49 6131 17-7631