MED 273: Communicating Biomedical Informatics (4 credits)

Students learn writing techniques for communicating scientific and engineering knowledge to audiences ranging from specialist to general communities. Starting with a review of grammar and sentence structure, the course will lead into different forms of science and engineering writing, including popular pieces, blogs, specifications, reviews, and research papers. Additionally, techniques to improve scientific presentation skills in oral form will be offered.

This course is structured in the following manner: 

**Homework for each week will be due the following week unless otherwise specified.

Week 1

Introduction and Writing Basics

  • Grammar
  • Syntax
  • Sentence structure

Homework: Write a paragraph about your research interests

Week 2

Techniques for Improving Writing

  • Writing plain sentences and paragraphs
  • Changing from passive to active voice
  • Eliminating verbose language

Homework: Rewrite the paragraph about your research interests.

Week 3

Blogs and Popular Pieces

  • Learn from professional blogs and popular pieces  
    Discussion about Final Project


  • Choose 3 ideas for an online magazine piece.
  • Find resources for all 3 ideas.
  • Write a 250-word piece to explain a biomedical informatics topic of choice.

Week 4


  • Learn to write abstracts for research papers and posters
  • Present final project ideas and resources

Homework: Rewrite an abstract from a JAMIA article.

Week 5

Technical documentation

  • How to write technical documents

Homework: Write the system requirements for a biomedical informatics application of choice.

Week 6


  • Learn to make posters for conferences

Homework: Make a poster of the selected JAMIA article.

Week 7

Mock Poster Session

  • Learn to present posters and answer questions

Homework: Make PowerPoint slides for a 10-minute presentation on the selected JAMIA article.

Week 8

Mock Conference

  • Learn to give a talk and answer questions.

Homework: Write the first draft of your magazine piece (due week 10).

Week 9

Research Papers Review Session

  • Learn to critique research papers.

Homework: Continue working on draft.


Writers' Group

  • Proofread final project draft as a group.

Homework: Edit draft of magazine piece.

Finals Week

Final Project due