Literature Reading and Academic Writing

Literature Reading and Academic Writing

Course Code: B72001Y

Course Name: Literature Reading and Academic Writing

Credits: 1.0

Level: Undergraduate

Pre-requisite: English

Lecture Time: 16 weeks, 2 sessions/week, 2 hours/session 64 72 hours

Instructors: Null

Course Description

This is a course which will be taught in English, and where students will be expected to read real research papers written in English. It is not a course designed to formally teach English language skills. Hence students are advised to prepare by revising their English language familiarity, if necessary. 

To introduce astronomy & astrophysics majors to the experience of thoughtfully reading real scientific papers, and to help them to do so effectively and efficiently.

One of the important transitions in becoming a researcher is moving from reading textbooks to reading papers.  It is important to learn to read thoughtfully and critically and to read efficiently. 

Throughout the course we will also aim to develop clear communication skills, and thoughtful reflection on which communication tactics work well.

Topics and Schedule:

1. Introduction, and course aims. Different literature formats, using ADS and the arXiv (1hr).

2. Strategies for reading papers efficiently, and what questions to ask (1hrs). 

3. Early classic papers (4hrs).

4. More modern outstanding papers (4hrs).

5. Reading current literature, both good and bad(8hrs).

6. Exam (2hrs).


This course will mainly be taught by practical example.  Students will be expected to critically read both classic and modern papers in astronomy/astrophysics, both inside and outside class, with in-class discussions of the strengths and weaknesses of the relevant papers.   Students will also be asked to prepare more formal written and oral reports.

The classes are intended to be highly interactive, and the pace will be determined by the ability of the group. 








Stephen Justham

中国科学院大学天文学院教授。2000年在剑桥大学获得学士学位,2004年在英国开放大学获得博士学位,2004-2008年在牛津大学做博士后研究,2008-2015年分别在北京大学和国家天文台做科学研究。目前已在国际一流天文学期刊发表SCI论文32篇,1118ADS引用(他引1089次),其中第一作者11篇(包括1Nature特邀“News and Views”,和多篇天文学顶级刊物ApJMNRASA&A等)文章。主要研究领域包括:超新星前身星理论和观测、大质量恒星、恒星流体力学、瞬变源观测与理论、双星物理交互、X射线双星、短周期黑洞双星等。