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Writing Scientific Papers: English Writing for Physicists

Module PH8116

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of SS 2021

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
SS 2022SS 2021SS 2020SS 2019WS 2016/7SS 2016

Basic Information

PH8116 is a semester module in English language at which is offered in summer semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Catalogue of soft-skill courses

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
120 h 30 h 4 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH8116 in the version of SS 2021 was Stephan Paul.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


This course covers the basics of English grammar and writing for the scientific context. The grammar overview covers the parts of speech, punctuation, the integration of mathematical content into text. THe writing overview covers sentence structure, paragraph structure, and the proper organization of subsections, sections, and an entire document.

Learning Outcome

This course will train you foremost to care about good writing. You will know how to recognize egregious mistakes and fix them; and you will know what reference material to check to continue learning to recognize more subtle mistakes.


There are no prerequisites for this course. No matter what your level of English, you will learn something useful.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VO 2 English Writing for Physicists Paul, S.
Assistants: Greenwald, D.
Wed, 16:00–18:00, PH II 127
Wed, 16:00–18:00, MW 1050

Learning and Teaching Methods

This course is presented as a a lecture, with students encouraged to ask questions along the way.


This course is presented via projected slides. The slides, forming a (lengthy) script, are made available on Moodle.


Several books are recommended in the first lecture as reference material for future writing. But only two books are recommended for students to actually own or request frequent access to:

Anne E. Greene's Writing Science in Plain English. This is a compact and inexpensive guide to writing that covers basics.

Bryan Garner's Modern American Usage. This is a large reference book that covers both grammar and word usage.

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

There will be a written exam of 90 minutes duration. Therein the achievement of the competencies given in section learning outcome is tested exemplarily at least to the given cognition level using Short answer and sentence correction..

For example an assignment in the exam might be: Name all the different tenses of verbs.

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