Communicating Science


Term: Fall 2020; Remote; Tuesdays/Thursdays 9:30-10:45AM EST                                     Instructor: Dr. John Kominoski; OE 207; 305.348.7117;

Class Schedule

Aug. 25: LECTURE: Writing overview / Essential Components of Scientific Manuscript/

– Accuracy, Brevity, and Clarity

27: LECTURE: Science Writing as Storytelling/Structure/OCAR

Sept. 01: LECTURE: The Opening: Is anybody listening?

03: LAB: Title/Abstract/Introduction (class will not meet, work with peer-writing partner)

Sept. 08: LECTURE: The Challenge: Develop important, testable questions

10: LAB: Questions that advance science

15: LECTURE: The Action: When, Where, Why, What, How

17: LAB: Methods and Results

22: LECTURE: The Resolution: Take us home

24: LAB: revised Results

29: LECTURE: Writing from the inside out: Where and how to begin

Oct. 01: LAB: Discussion and Conclusion

06 LECTURE: Acknowledgements, Literature Cited, Tables and Figures

08: LAB: Manuscript – writing group feedback

13: LECTURE: Authorship and Ethics

15: LAB: Manuscript – writing group feedback

20: LECTURE: Target Journals, Instruction for Authors, Cover Letters, Prospective


22: LAB: Manuscript – writing group feedback

27: LECTURE: It’s a process: Dealing with reviewers /resubmission/ page proofs

29: LAB: Manuscript – writing group feedback

Nov. 03: LECTURE: Service: You as an editor/reviewer

05: LAB: Manuscript – First Draft Manuscript Due

10: LECTURE: Sound science: Scientific societies and journals

12: LAB: Reviews returned, discussed

17: LECTURE: It gets better: Responding to reviews

19: LECTURE: Accepted or Rejected? What’s next?

24: LAB: Developing Press Releases

26: NO CLASS (Happy Thanksgiving)

Dec. 01: LECTURE: Scientific & Public Presentations – Understanding your audience

Dec. 03: LECTURE: Science Communication & Social Media

Dec. 04: Revised Manuscript Due 5PM EST

Required Textbook:                                                                                                      Schimel, Joshua. 2012. Writing Science – How to write papers that get cited and proposals that get funded. Oxford University Press, New York. ISBN: 978-0-19-976024-4


  • Manuscript First submission: 30%
  • Manuscript Final submission: 15%
  • Manuscript Peer Review: 30%
  • Class Participation/Attendance: 25%

Publication Status & Grade

  • Accept as is: 100
  • Accept with minor revisions: 95
  • Accept with moderate revisions: 85
  • Reconsider after major revision: 75
  • Reject: ≤65

Expectations & Participation                                                                                          Students will (1) participate in weekly lectures, labs, and discussions, (2) participate in giving and receiving weekly feedback with peer writing partner, (3) present manuscript sections and draft manuscripts during two labs based, (4) write a manuscript draft and revised manuscript of original, completed thesis or dissertation research, and (5) provide a journal-style peer review of another student’s draft manuscript. Successful leadership will involve preparing and circulating manuscript sections and draft manuscripts by the class period prior to the class period where materials will be presented, and integrating feedback from class into revised manuscripts. Students will be graded on their attendance (all absences must be excused), participation, facilitation of discussion and the clarity, content and conciseness of all written work.

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