Course Syllabus for

Reading Skills and the Discourse of the Research Article
Att läsa och förstå språkbruket i forskningsartiklar

GEM060F, 3 credits

Valid from: Autumn 2013
Decided by: FN1/Anders Gustafsson, FN2/Eva Nordberg Karlsson , FN3/Per Tunestål
Date of establishment: 2013-05-28

General Information

Division: Doctoral Research Training
Course type: Third-cycle course
Teaching language: English


This course aims to help students improve their ability to read, understand and think critically about research articles in science and engineering. The course also intends to help graduate students at LTH improve their efficiency and effectiveness in reading and understanding research articles in science and engineering in general and their own fields of research in particular.


Knowledge and Understanding

For a passing grade the doctoral student must be able to know where in research articles readers will tend to find the information most relevant to that research.

Competences and Skills

For a passing grade the doctoral student must

Judgement and Approach

For a passing grade the doctoral student must be able to critically analyse the discourse choices made by authors in published texts in their research areas.

Course Contents

Discourse analysis, techniques in reading, skimming and analysing research articles in science and engineering in general and in specific fields, the discourse of technical communication in general and of the research articles in particular, the moves of the abstract and of the sections of research articles, The Journal Impact Factor and Science Citation Index: its uses and misuses, paragraphing conventions, varieties of discourse traditions/communication channels in academic research communities, communicative context and the discourse of introduction sections, methods descriptions, and of presenting and discussing results.

Course Literature

Reading material will be distributed by the course instructor.

Instruction Details

Types of instruction: Lectures, exercises. The course consists of a series of lectures, each followed by an hour-long small-group discussion workshop in which students apply the analytical techniques learned to the different sections of research articles which they have chosen from their own fields.

Examination Details

Examination format: Written assignments. For a Pass on the course, the participant must have attended at least 80 % of the scheduled activities and completed and passed all assignments in the course. If there are extenuating circumstances some parts of the assessment can be performed differently.
Grading scale: Failed, pass

Admission Details

Admission requirements: To be admitted to the course applicants have to be part of a PhD programme at LTH.
Selection criteria: Priority is given to: 1) PhD students who have previously applied to the course and were eligible at the time, 2) PhD students most recently accepted for PhD studies.

Course Occasion Information

Contact and Other Information

Course coordinator: Margaret Newman-Nowicka <>
Web page:

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