BIO 801
Scientific Literature and Writing - Biology

Instructor: Gary Ritchison
Office: SCIBD 4221
Office phone: 859-622-1541

Text: Gastel, B., and R. A. Day. 2016. How to write & publish a scientific paper. Greenwood Press, Westport, CT.

Lecture notes: click here!

Guidelines for oral presentations: click here!

Guidelines for poster presentations: click here!

Resources available from the EKU Library: click here!

Course objective: To improve your communication skills (particularly scientific writing skills)

Course requirements:

Lectures: Lecture videos will be made available on Blackboard each week. I will notify you by email when new videos are posted.

Questions: Please contact me by email at any time with any questions you have about lecture material, assignments, or anything else related to the course. I'll do my best to respond to emails within 24 hrs or less. This is the first time the course has been offered completely online, so please let me know if there's anything I can do to improve the online version of the course.


Final grades will be assigned based on total points earned:
316 - 360 A
280 - 315 B
244 - 279 C
208 - 243 D
< 207 F

Mid-term grade: If you have any questions about your grade at mid-term, please feel free to contact me by email.

Disability Accommodation Statement: A student with a "disability" may be an individual with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities such as learning, seeing or hearing. Additionally, pregnancy accompanied by medical conditions that causes a similar substantial limitation may also be considered under the ADA. If you are registered with the Office of Services for Individuals with Disabilities, please obtain your accommodation letters from the OSID and present them to the course instructor to discuss any academic accommodations you need. If you believe you need accommodation and are not registered with the OSID, please contact the office in the Whitlock Building Room 361, by email at or by telephone at (859) 622-2933. Upon individual request, this syllabus can be made available in an alternative format.

Academic Integrity: Students are advised that EKU's Academic Integrity Policy will strictly be enforced in this course.  The Academic Integrity policy is available at statement is applicable to all EKU students in all courses regardless of whether it appears in the class syllabus.Questions regarding the policy may be directed to the Office of Academic Integrity.

Tentative Schedule:

August 17-21 - Introduction to scientific literature & writing

August 24 - 28 - Scientific Writing & Editing: Basic Guidelines

August 31 - September 4 - Scientific Writing & Editing: Basic Guidelines 

September 7 - 11 - Scientific Writing & Editing - Basic Guidelines

September 14 - 18 - Getting funded: writing proposals and first draft of proposal introduction due

September 21 - 25 - Guidelines for writing a scientific paper I

September 28 - October 2 - EXAM 1

October 5 - 9 - Guidelines for writing a scientific paper II and revised version of proposal introduction due

October 12 - 16 - EXAM 2

October 19 - 23 - Guidelines for writing a scientific paper III

October 26 - 30 - Guidelines for writing a scientific paper IV and first version of research paper discussion due

November 2 - 6 - EXAM 3

November 9 - 13 - Guidelines for oral presentations    

November 16 - 20 - Guidelines for poster presentations  

November 23 - 24 - EXAM 4   

November 30 - Final version of research paper discussion due

December 3 - Poster presentations due (see the poster evaluation form)

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