Scientific Writing

Mission: Science has not only to be made, it has also to be transported. Even the most excellent work will not have any impact, if it is not properly written down and explained. But scientific writing is more than just propaganda and public relations. Together with experimental work it forms the core of science as a social searching process (heuristics) leading to a deeper understanding of reality. The workshop wants to shift the following points into attention:

  • how to define a clear scientific question?
  • how to describe the methods such that it is useful and reproducible?
  • how to make clear, what had been done, and for what purpose it had been done?
  • how to present scientific data in a way that they are clear and easy to understand?
  • how to separate facts (observations) from fiction (interpretations)?
  • how to write a discussion that is stimulating others to go on?


Procedure: There are five sessions offered. Each session lasts around one hour and will start with an impulse (around 20 min), where a specific aspect of scientific writing is explained. In the second half, we will use real-world case studies (for instance, from the work in the institute). Bachelor students are also encouraged to show and discuss their own questions.


Exercise: Bachelor students have to apply the discussed points to their own work and they will have to deliver simple tasks. This is nothing else than a structured preparation of their thesis.


Dates and topics

  • Time: We, 13:00-14:30
  • Location: Seminar room 506-507, Biotower.
  • Materials: Ilias - (Current Semester - Fakultät Chemie und Biowissenschaften - BIO_BA06_Scientific_Writing)


17.04.2024 - Why we need to do scientific writing and how this is shaping the structure of a paper

  • lecture slides (pdf)

24.04.2024 - Getting started: how to structure the introduction, how to write the method part.


  • lecture slides (pdf) - slides on research and filtering (D, pdf) - slides on bibliographic tools by Dr. Tangen, KIT-BIB (D, pdf and video recording) - paper by Guan et al. 2021 (pdf)
  • task for Bachelor students: 1. design a search matrix for your topic 2. formulate three questions for your thesis 3. send both by e-mail to get feedback.


15.05.2024 - Your raw material A: how to process data for a thesis and publication.


  • lecture slides (pdf) - paper by Livak and Schmittgen (2001) on the quantification of gene expression by real-time qPCR, the preformed Excel sheet with the data set is on Ilias
  • task for Bachelor students: 1. create a heatmap for the relative expression (based on the the Delta Ct values). 2. create a heatmap for fold-induction (based on the Delta Delta Ct values).


05.06.2024 - Your raw material B: how to present data for a thesis and publication.


  • lecture slides (pdf)
  • task for Bachelor students: 1. think about the type of data sets you will generate. 2. think about the specific challenges. 3. make an example graph (can be even with arbitrary data)


19.06.2024 - Getting completed: how to write a discussion that is worth reading.


  • lecture slides (pdf)
  • task for Bachelor students: do this for an experiment of your project - 1. what was the question behind the experiment. 2. what did you expect? 3. what did you observe? 4. sketch down a visual explanation.


03.07.2024 - Science versus "Alternative Facts": what is scientific ethics, and why is it needed?


  • lecture slides (pdf)
  • task for Bachelor students: 1. look at the typical situations of the PhD students (last slide) 2. ask yourself, where there might be ethical issues. 3. think about solutions and advice the student, how to handle this.