933401 Theory, methods and practice of interdisciplinary academic writing

Lecture and seminar
Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Vogl, Christian R.
Offered in
Sommersemester 2021
Languages of instruction


This course supports doctorate students, but also master students, who want to publish their theses as scientific paper. The course provides the necessary information on successful writing of scientific papers, and supports the practical training of writing skills.
The course is available at BOKUlearn, structured in modules that allow following and individual pace in passing the course. Meetings are done online. Task/activities to be done by students are to be submitted or done online in BOKUlearn.
Topics covered are:
• Epistemology: natural vs. social sciences and implications for writing an interdisciplinary publication
• How to write a good introduction and state of the art
• Rules and conventions in academic writing: Style, structure and wording
• How to write the methods section
• What should the result, discussion and conclusion section contain?
• How to find a good title for your paper?
• How to write a good abstract
• Who is an author? In what order do you list the authors?
• Types of journals; Characteristics of SCI and SSCI journals; what is an impact factor?
• How to select the appropriate Journal?
• The publication process (submission, review, re-submission, galley proof, …)
• How to review a manuscript
• How to handle the comments by the editor and the reviewers
• Check list on what to look for before you submit your manuscript.
• How to write a good abstract
Since writing is a fundamentally individual task, much of the work will be done in individual study. However, it is important for the participants to stay in touch between the classes. For this, we will make intensive use of three collaborative tools offered by BOKUlearn. Working with these tools will be the basis of your grade.
It is not the aim of this course assessing or reviewing your final manuscript, or estimating the potential for an acceptance of the manuscript. For that purpose, please talk with your supervisor(s) or co-author(s).

Previous knowledge expected

The class is aimed at PhD-level students or master students in the process of writing up their thesis. The course will be held in English.
To participate in this class you MUST have a specific paper you will be working on (and which will be submitted at the end of the semester to a Journal or a conference). Ideally this would be a paper that has been submitted to a conference and is now being revised for journal publication. But you can also work on a new manuscript. What is important is that you have all the analysis done, as well as most of the literature review.
Therefore please check if you comply with these conditions:
Good knowledge of English
Planning to write a manuscript for a scientific paper during the next 6 months
Having enough material (literature, data) for being able to present a scientific finding in a manuscript.

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

At PhD level, disciplinary knowledge and interdisciplinary understanding are largely exhibited through the medium of writing. This class is designed to foster student´s awareness of academic conventions and practices based on the epistemic conventions of a range of disciplines. The students will understand writing as an iterative process, where meaning is constructed according to a set of rules. The work done in-class will be based on the student´s own writing (e.g. abstracts for conferences, manuscripts for journals) which will be assessed through peer-review as well as through feedback from the lecturers.
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.