PHYS 5N01: Scientific Writing
Course Outline 2023/24 (FW 2023/24 D1)
What this course is about:

This course will involve independent study and writing of a research paper in the format of a journal article in the area of specialization. Organizational and stylistic skills of writing. Referencing a scientific document. Use of figures, graphs and tables to present data.


Student must be enrolled in the PhD in Physics Graduate Program. Student must have carried out a research project that their supervisor deems sufficiently complete to warrant writing a journal-style publication.

Learning Objectives/Outcomes:
To develop research, communication, and presentation skills through writing an original scientific article in journal format.

Course Organization:
  • This course is an independent study. Watch for announcements by email and on the Brightspace site.
  • Course Communications:
    For class communications monitor your Brock email and the course Brightspace site.

    The marking scheme: This course is graded as SA/UN (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory).
    Article Proposal Due: October 20 2023. Brief introduction to the proposed topic in the form of an abstract. Submit electronically to course Brightspace site under the 'Assignments' tab. Abstract will be shared with your supervisor(s) who will be required to approve the topic.
    Article Introduction Due: January 19 2024. Write a complete introduction to your article with sufficient literature review. You may include original figures, and graphs. Include citations as needed. Submit electronically to course Brightspace site under the 'Assignments' tab. Will be shared with supervisor(s) who are encouraged to provide feedback.
    Rough Draft Due: February 16 2024. A complete rough draft of your article in journal preprint style. Should contain journal-quality figures and tables with proper captions. Submit electronically to course Brightspace site under the 'Assignments' tab. Will be shared with supervisor(s) who are encouraged to provide feedback.
    Final Version Due: April 5 2024. Will be shared with your supervisor(s) who will be required to approve it to obtain a passing grade (SA) for the course.

    Important Dates:
    The last date for withdrawal from this course without academic penalty is January 19, 2024. For other important dates see the Faculty of Graduate Studies' sessional or important dates.

    • No late work will be accepted.
    • All submissions should be a proper word-processed document. Unless specified, you must submit as a .pdf file.

    Academic Policies:

    Academic Integrity:

      All students must comply with Brock's academic misconduct policies . Academic misconduct is a serious offence. The principle of academic integrity, particularly of doing one’s own work, documenting properly (including use of quotation marks, appropriate paraphrasing and referencing/citation), collaborating appropriately, and avoiding misrepresentation, is a core principle in university study. Students should consult Section XVII, “Academic Misconduct”, in the “Academic Regulations and University Policies” entry in the Graduate Calendar, available at Information on what constitutes academic integrity is available at .

    Intellectual Property Notice:

      All slides, presentations, handouts, tests, exams, and other course materials created by the instructor in this course are the intellectual property of the instructor. A student who publicly posts or sells an instructor’s work, without the instructor’s express consent, may be charged with misconduct under Brock’s Academic Integrity Policy and/or Code of Conduct, and may also face adverse legal consequences for infringement of intellectual property rights.

    Special Accommodation:

      The University is committed to fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for all students and will adhere to the Human Rights principles that ensure respect for dignity, individualized accommodation, inclusion and full participation. The University provides a wide range of resources to assist students, as follows: ​
    • a) If you require academic accommodation because of a disability or an ongoing health or mental health condition, please contact Student Accessibility Services.
    • b) If you require academic accommodation because of an incapacitating medical condition, you must, as soon as practicable, inform your instructor(s) of your inability to complete your academic work. You must also submit a Brock University Student Medical Certificate (found at forms and self service ). The University may, at its discretion, request more detailed documentation in certain cases. If you are unable to write a scheduled examination due to an incapacitating medical condition, you must follow the process set out in the Faculty Handbook III:9.4.1.
    • c) If you are experiencing mental health concerns, resources can be found here.
    • d) Information regarding the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre can be found here.
    • e) If you require academic accommodation on religious grounds, you should make a formal, written request to your instructor(s) for alternative dates and/or means of satisfying requirements. Such requests should be made during the first two weeks of any given academic term, or as soon as possible after a need for accommodation is known to exist.
    • f) Information regarding Human Rights and Equity can be found here.

    COVID 19:

      All students are expected to comply with Brock Covid-19 policies. Information can be found here.