Scientific Writing
Dahlem Research School (DRS)
Winter Term 2008-9
Every other Tuesday, 4−6 pm; SR 049, Computer Science building, Takustr. 9.


Dates given on this page always refer to the lesson a particular homework task is due for. If you have any questions at all, please don't be afraid to write an e-mail and ask. All materials can be found on the Materials page.

13 January
– Just read ahead to Unit Six. Give three to five structural or stylistic characteristics that, in your view, a critique has to exhibit.

16 December
– Read Units Two and Three in the book, which are on General–Specific and Problem–Solution texts. I also prepared a worksheet, see the Materials page.
– Produce a 250-word text from your field of expertise that follows the Problem–Solution paradigm as per the worksheet. Pay special attention to the general nature of the first phase and the "cool consequences" character of the last.

2 December
– Read Diamond's essay on science writing. Highlight passages that you think should be included in a summary of the text and be able to give reasons. Write a 250-word summary that focuses on the aspect that you find most compelling in Diamond's text. What kind of audience could you write your summary for?
– Consult Unit Five in the book for some more hints as to the process of writing summaries. Make a note of questions and possibly instructive exercises that you would like to discuss in class.

18 November
– Bring a published text from your field of study. Prepare a few remarks on why that text is extraordinary: in terms of language us, presentation, argumentation etc.
– In this text, find instances of definitions and explain what they tell you about the author's view of his audience. Also, mark words or phrases that you think are specific to the kind of scientific text in hand. What are their defining characteristics? (See a dictionary for help on that one.)

4 November
– Please familiarize yourselves with the layout of the book (AWG). Read ahead to the end of Unit 1 and mark one or two specific exercises that you think you would benefit from discussing in class.

Topic revision: r4 - 06 Jan 2009, PeterMonnerjahn


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