Course A125/46 Advanced Course in Written English

ECTS: 2.6

Course leader: Morten Pilegaard

Language: English

Graduate school: Faculty of Health

Course fee: 3,120.00 DKK

Max seats: 20

Applicants: 22

Status: Course is started

Semester: Spring 2021

Application deadline: 19/03/2021

Start date: 09/04/2021

Duplicate course

NB. Please do not sign up for more than one course in ”Advanced Course in Written English”. If you are available to participate in more than one of the duplicated courses, please indicate in your primary course registration (in the comment box) which course(s) you are also interested in. In case of a duplicate registration, please notice that a full course fee will be charged when reaching the application deadline on all courses.

Online course

Please notice due to the COVID-19 restriction the course has been changed to online participation.

Advanced Course in Written English A125/46

is being offered by the Graduate School of Health, Aarhus University, spring 2021.

Criteria for participation: University degree in medicine, dentistry, nursing, or Master’s degree in other fields and/or postgraduate research fellows (PhD students and research-year medical students).

Aim: The aim of this course is to train the students’ general and disciplinary writing ability to enhance successful disciplinary writing in conformity with contextual/situational, discoursal and genre- and text-type conventions and requirements of written academic English in health sciences.

Learning outcomes:

  1. Ability to use existing guidelines and conventions governing the structuring of clinical research papers.
  2. Ability to analyse and describe typical structural and linguistic features of poster, abstract and paper.
  3. Ability to apply principles of cohesion and thematic structuring in own texts.
  4. Ability to analyse and produce select text types.
  5. Ability to trace and correct errors of composition and grammar in English-language texts.

Content: To achieve this aim, the student will take as their starting point previously acquired knowledge about

1) The conventions of specific academic text genres in health sciences, including research papers, posters and conference abstracts;

2) The basic textual and discourse features of such genres including their cohesion and coherence;

3) Efficient and effective processes for writing and responding to reviewers;

4) The main differences between English and Danish grammar and language usage. Participants are expected to have acquired such knowledge before participation in the Advanced Course in Written English either through participation in the Basis Course in Written English or through self-study of the course materials for the basic course, which will be available on-line for participants in the advanced course.

To achieve the aim of the advanced course, participants will acquire proficiency in
1) Producing and revising one’s own and others’ academic texts to optimize their structure, form and conformity with existing conventions at the level of text genre (macro structure), text type (presentation, argumentation, summarizing, etc.) and form (formality and grammatical correctness)

2) Tracing and optimizing non-academic language at paragraph, sentence and word level, including enhancing text cohesion

3) Tracing and correcting unidiomatic English and any mother-tongue interference from non-native writers of English (mainly Danish).


Day 1

  1. Presentation of participants and course.
  2. Conventions in quantitative and qualitative research dissemination in life science and medicine.
  3. Writing and text targeting processes. Practice & training: pre-writing, drafting, feedback & revision of sample texts.
  4. Building written proficiency, tools & techniques; including introduction to self-study materials, drills and answer key for Advanced Course in Written English.

Day 2

  1. Medical text genres: Research paper, conference abstract, poster. Practice & training: Determining macro-textual form from verbal clues; tools for establishing textual macro-structure using verbal and syntactical clues.
  2. Medical text types: Production and optimization of text types of own choice for publication purposes. Writing exercise: produce and optimize text types applying writing steps (pre-writing, drafting, feedback/revision, evaluation).
  3. Grammar: Cohesion, coherence and textuality; using parallel structures and fixing sentence problems. Exercise: Trace, fix and present parallel structures and sentenFroce problems in sample texts.
  4. Conference abstract: Lecture on persuasive writing. Writing exercise: Produce own conference abstract using persuasive writing techniques. Swap for peer feedback.

Day 3

  1. Grammar: Clause structure and challenges: Managing noun clauses, adverbial clauses, adjective clauses and participial phrases. Exercise: Trace and revise clausal errors and mother tongue interference in sample texts and own text(s).
  2. Poster: Design and poster language. Writing exercise: Optimize own poster or write sample poster introduction or comment on sample poster language and presentation.
  3. Research paper I: abstracts. Summarizing, paraphrasing and condensing. Exercise: Analyse structural and linguistic features of abstracts; revise own and sample abstracts.
  4. Research paper II: materials & methods, results sections of research paper. Building paragraphs while maintaining focus; descriptive and argumentative text types; comparison and contrast. Exercise: comment on sample texts; produce and/or optimize own descriptive text types based on on-going work; linguistic variation in comparison and contrast; typical pitfalls.

Day 4

  1. Research paper III: introduction and discussion sections of research paper. Writing expository texts, rhetorical structure; presenting causal analysis and proposals; argumentation and discussion. Writing exercise: Comment on sample texts; produce and/or optimize own introduction and/or discussion based on on-going work.
  2. Consolidating overview: Guidelines (particularly STROBE); overview of the IMRaD structure (anchor paragraphs – last in the intro, first and last in discussion, interpretation); tables and figures; references; key words; title.
  3. Working with co-authors, revising, editorial process, (re-)submission (e.g., cover letter), intro to peer review, journal metrics Own texts: Plenary with discussion at ‘students’ discretion and individual questions and counselling students’ papers in progress.
  4. Odds and ends & introduction to supplementary exercises for post-course Advanced Written English self-study.

Recommended knowledge for participation: It is recommended that participants have attended the Basic Course in Written English before taking this course, which is open to participants with work in progress.

Activities and materials: Participants who have not taken the basic course are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the course materials of the Basic Course - please contact the course secretary. The advanced course takes the issues covered in the Basic Course to a higher, applied level of language usage and therefore requires course participants to actively engage with their own and fellow course participants’ texts through writing-editing-feedback-rewriting processes to improve their own texts and writing practices. Each student may contribute to the course with at least two texts (e.g. one or more sections of a research paper; a poster and/or a conference abstract; and a communication exchange with reviewers). The course is therefore intended for participants with work in progress. Course materials will consist of a virtual compendium of texts, slides, drills and a collection of exercises and answer keys for in-course use and post-course training of advanced English skills on a self-study basis.



Participation in the course is without cost for:

  • PhD students, Research Year students and Research Honours Programme students from Aarhus University
  • PhD students enrolled at partner universities of the Nordoc network
  • PhD students from other institutions in the open market agreement for PhD courses


Course dates:

  • 09 April 2021 08:30 - 12:30
  • 23 April 2021 08:30 - 12:30
  • 07 May 2021 08:30 - 12:30
  • 21 May 2021 08:30 - 12:30