Module PPP-1006:
Scientific Writing & Comm II

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Tracey Lloyd

Overall aims and purpose

This module will further exercise and develop the core skills required to communicate effectively within science generally, and within psychology specifically. The aim of this module is to develop students' scientific skills profiles and to encourage them to feel confident in their ability to disseminate ideas effectively using a variety of mediums and within a psychological community.

Course content

Students will develop a range of transferable communication skills on this module. The module will include the following components:

  • Writing for Science (WfS): Students will work in small groups to further develop their science writing skills

  • Dissemination of Information (DoI): Students will hear a series of research talks and will communicate the content of these in writing

  • Psychology Oral Presentation Practice Skills (POPPS): Students will take part in peer led small group practice sessions for developing oral presentation skills

A typical curriculum will include workshops and lectures on: Essay planning, thesis statements, using feedback effectively, credible sources and advanced referencing and critical thinking skills.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

D+ to D-

  • A basic knowledge and understanding of topic areas presented.
  • A description of research presented, with some sections covered clearly
  • Some structural issues and only some of the relevant information within the field covered.
  • Little demonstration of some independent research from academic sources outside of lectures and recommended readings
  • Few logically presented and factually correct arguments, mostly undefended by sound scientific evidence
  • Little original interpretation applied to problems, with few synthesis and critical thinking skills shown
  • Weak presentation of material, with little adherence to APA standards and lack of clear communication of scientific content.
  • Adequate oral presentation skills shown

good

B+ to B-

  • A good knowledge and understanding of topic areas presented.
  • A scientific description of research presented, with most sections covered clearly and succinctly
  • Well-structured and mostly relevant coverage of the current field.
  • A demonstration of some independent research from academic sources outside of lectures and recommended readings
  • Mostly logically presented and factually correct arguments, often defended by sound scientific evidence
  • Some original interpretation applied to problems, with good synthesis and critical thinking skills shown
  • Good presentation of material, mostly adhering to APA standards and communicating scientific content well
  • Good oral presentation skills shown

C+ to C- range answers will reflect the same criteria but to a somewhat lower standard

excellent

A** to A-

  • A comprehensive knowledge and detailed understanding of topic areas presented.
  • A highly scientific description of research presented, with all sections covered clearly and succinctly.
  • Well-structured and highly relevant coverage of the current field.
  • A clear demonstration of independent research from academic sources outside of lectures and recommended readings.
  • Logically presented and factually correct arguments, defended by sound scientific evidence
  • Original interpretation applied to problems, with excellent synthesis and critical thinking skills shown.
  • Excellent written presentation of material, fully adhering to APA standards and clearly communicating scientific content.
  • Excellent oral presentations skills shown.

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of communication in science.

  2. Demonstrate competent science writing, using format, language, and style appropriate for scientific discourse.

  3. Demonstrate a clear understanding and/or application of the APA formatting rules and scientific writing style and conventions.

  4. Present information about one or more of the major areas of psychology in a logical, informative and scientifically appropriate manner.

  5. Discuss and evaluate some of the critical and contentious issues currently being debated in the field of psychology.

  6. Develop confidence and scientific style in oral presentation of psychological material

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
COURSEWORK DoI Assignment

A group poster based on a research talk given as part of the course

25
ESSAY WfS Essay Assignment

Students will write a critical essay based on up to date scientific evidence.

45
ORAL POPPS Participation 2.5
ORAL POPPS Small Roles 5
ORAL POPPS PS 1 6.25
ORAL POPPS PS 2 6.25
ORAL POPPS IMP 1 2.5
ORAL POPPS IMP 2 2.5
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT WFS Essay Draft

A draft essay for use as a formative exercise. This will be graded on an exemption basis.

5

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Workshop

Psychology Oral Presentation Practice Sessions (POPPS)

11
Workshop

Writing for Science (WfS) small group workshops

10
Private study

Private Study

74
Lecture

Dissemination of Information research talks

5

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Understand the scientific underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
  • Apply multiple perspectives to psychological issues and integrate ideas and findings across the multiple perspectives in psychology.
  • Communicate psychological concepts effectively in written form.
  • Communicate psychological concepts effectively in oral form.
  • Be computer literate for the purpose of processing and disseminating psychological data and information.
  • Retrieve and organise information effectively.
  • Handle primary source material critically.
  • Engage in effective teamwork for the purpose of collaborating on psychological projects.
  • Be sensitive and react appropriately to contextual and interpersonal psychological factors.
  • Use effectively personal planning and project management skills.
  • Work effectively under pressure (time pressure, limited resources, etc) as independent and pragmatic learners.
  • Problem-solve by clarifying questions, considering alternative solutions, making critical judgements, and evaluating outcomes.
  • Reason scientifically and demonstrate the relationship between theory and evidence.
  • Employ evidence-based reasoning and examine practical, theoretical and ethical issues associated with the use of different methodologies, paradigms and methods of analysis in psychology.

Resources

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: