UCT Medical School – Health Sciences Education (FHS Writing Lab)

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UCT Medical School – Health Sciences Education (FHS Writing Lab)

UCT Medical School – Health Sciences Education (FHS Writing Lab)

Over the last few years, the upper campus Writing Centre has been so well utilized by students across the university, that the need for satellite writing centers has become apparent. In response to this need, the Faculty of Health Sciences Writing Lab officially opened its doors on the 9th of February 2015. The Writing Lab provides FHS students and staff with convenient access to specialist writing support on their own campus.

Our aim is not to improve the writing but to improve the writer.

For many people writing does not come naturally, and while great writing is hard to learn, good writing is not. We believe that with the appropriate guidance and support, anyone can become a proficient academic writer. We want to empower writers by helping them develop the awareness and skills needed to produce good writing within their discipline.

At the Writing Lab, we aim to provide a safe, collaborative space where you can brainstorm and discuss ideas and challenges with a consultant who is both a trained writing specialist and a postgraduate science student themselves. Our consultant’s science background gives them the technical knowledge to access your writing with ease and understanding, while their specialized training allows them to help you identify your writing challenges, and show you practical ways to overcome them and become a better writer.

To support you on your journey to becoming a better writer, the Writing Lab offers one-on-one consultations, group consultations, workshops by request, and paper-based resources. From our interaction with students, we are also in a unique position to mediate with departments about the challenges that students are facing. In this capacity we are able to advocate on your behalf, facilitating the processes of justice and social redress at UCT.

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In order to make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for, their resources have been divided into a number of categories. To make sure you don’t miss anything crucial, some of the resources have been replicated under several pertinent titles.

The Writing Process
  • 5 steps to writing good essays
  • Academic Reading
  • Academic fairy tale
  • Discussions
  • Essay structure
  • Figures and tables
  • Introductions and Conclusions for Essays
  • Introductions and Conclusions for research articles
  • Task Analysis
  • Thematic literature review matrices
  • Titles
  • Paragraph structure
  • Rationale
  • Writing a literature review
Punctuation, Grammar, Style
  • Introduction to the academic writing style
  • Cohesion in writing
  • Commas
  • Subject-verb agreement
  • Tenses
  • Thesis statements
  • Scientific writing style
  • Sentence structure
Science Writing
  • Reading medical articles critically
  • Scientific writing style
  • Tips for good writing in health sciences
  • Popular science articles
  • PowerPoint Presentations
  • Research proposals
  • Scientific articles for medical journals
  • Scientific poster design
  • Scientific reports


Understanding Plagiarism & Effective Referencing Strategies

Specialized Texts

  • Abstracts
  • Concept Notes
  • Cover letters
  • Book reviews
  • Essay exams
  • Experiential Learning
  • Policy Briefs
  • Postgraduate Progress Reports
  • Popular science articles
  • Rapid Reviews
  • Research proposals
  • Reflective Writing
  • Scientific articles for medical journals
  • Scientific posters
  • Scientific reports
  • Scoping reviews
  • Systematic reviews

Additional UCT Resources

The Bongani Mayosi Health Sciences Library is the place to go if you need help with referring, literature searches, or any other aspect of reference management software. They have a top-notch group of librarians that have been trained to assist you with these specialized questions.

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Nyukela Academic Support 

The EDU team at the Department of Health Sciences provides first- and second-year students with academic help. They have a team ready to take on any problem; they will collaborate, help, and make more time as/if necessary, or connect you to further sources of useful information, counsel, and feedback. They are aware that learning demands might vary and that kids are not all the same. They have created educational materials that you may access on VULA; the website’s name is Nyukela Academic Success.

Human/Animal Research Ethics Committee 

Please visit the Human Study Ethics Committee website if you need assistance with study procedures so that the security and rights of your participants are covered in your proposal. On this page, under the research category, you may find all the necessary documentation, instructions, and forms to complete.

Careers Service

Visit the Careers Service on the upper campus if you need assistance putting your CV together. They offer a group of professionally qualified advisors who are familiar with the job market and can assist you in creating a polished and pertinent CV.

Additional External Resources

List of Editors – Using an editor is a great way to get that final polish on a piece of writing. However, it is important to bear in mind that depending on the length of your document, using an editor may be very costly! Here is a list to help you.

Directions & Bookings

The Writing Lab is open Monday to Friday from 8:00 – 18:00.

Before you can make an appointment you will need to register online 

Once you have created a free account, log in and select “Health Sciences” from the list of “Available Schedules” once you have logged in. To arrange an appointment, choose a free (white) time window on the calendar and click!

Please Note:

We are offering BOTH ONLINE and face-to-face consultations.

For a task analysis session and for documents less than 7 pages, book a 1-hour consultation.

For more than 7 pages, book a 2-hour consultation. Your consultant will spend the first hour reading your document. You will need to log in to the online consultation platform at the start of the second hour.

The maximum document length is 15 pages.

You MUST upload your document onto the system by 9:00 on the day of your appointment.

Please provide us with as much information as possible and consult our FAQs section for more information.


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