Scientific Writing

University of Constance
Spring 2016, PhD course

(download as pdf)


Course Description

This course addresses students considering a scientific career in economics. The course provides a general overview rather than coaching students in writing a specific paper. The entire process of scientific writing and publishing will be covered. Although the course is of interest to various scientific fields, applications will be drawn from economics.

The course addresses the following questions:

What is a “scientific publication”? Why publish? What makes a paper “publishable” in a good journal? How to assess the quality of a scientific publication? How do referees and editors evaluate papers? How to write a scientific paper? What could be a promising strategy for submission? What are the right journals for my paper? How should I read, understand and deal with referee reports? How can I be a good referee? Which norms and rules must I observe?


Requirements and Grading:

a)   20% for active participation in classroom discussions

b)   30% for writing a referee report along with a cover letter to “the editor” on a paper I suggest (or some paper of your suggestion). Deadline: May 25, 2016 (24:00)

c)   50% for final paper. Students write a paper on a topic of their choice consisting of (i) title page including abstract of 150 words and JEL-codes, (ii) introduction of max. 2.5 pages, and (iii) references mentioned in the introduction (max. 1 page).
Deadline: June 29, 2016 (24:00)

Times and Places
Part I: Wed, April 27, 09:15-16:00 and Thurs, April 28, 09:45-12:30
Part II: Wed, June 15, 09:15-16:00 and Thurs, june 16, 09:45-12:30

Handout     Readings