The essentials of

Sentence Structure

Learn how to design clear, straightforward sentences.

Reduce the time you spend editing and rewriting your sentences

Sentence Structure

Learn the basics of sentence structure, without complicated grammar instruction..

Sentence design

Learn how to design coherent, easy-to-read sentences.


Learn how to punctuate your sentences, without complicated grammar instruction.

Key Course Features

Dr Marina Hurley shows you how to design and punctuate your sentences. 

Use your own example sentences in the writing exercises to immediately improve your writing. 

Course Structure & Delivery

- Designed for incremental learning with each lesson (step) building on from the previous one. 

- Includes short instruction videos (<10min), writing exercises and 'before-and-after' examples

- Live tuition and submit your writing exercise answers for feedback (Premium students)

- Three modules delivered over four weeks.

- All members have 12 months access


- Pre-recorded lectures and course handouts

- Writing exercises and example answers

- Worksheets (printable or e-fillable)
- The course roadmap to guide you through the key lesson steps

- Additional resources and recommended reading

- Checklists, infographics and other educational handouts

(To request an invoice prior to booking, please email


Course Content

The course consists of three modules, with 3-4 lessons (steps) and 5 - 8 writing exercises per module.


Module 1: Introduction

Lesson 1: How the course works (onboarding)

Lesson 2: The essentials of writing clear science

Lesson 3: How to manage the writing process


Module 2: The basics of sentence structure

Lesson 1: Common problems with sentence design

Lesson 2: Understanding clause structure

Lesson 3: How to reduce sentences that are too long

Lesson 4: Where to place your main point


Module 3: The essentials of punctuation

Lesson 1: Common problems with punctuation

Lesson 2: How to use commas

Lesson 3: How to use colons and semi-colons

Lesson 4: How to punctuate your sentences

Lesson 5: Course recap and additional resources

Who is this course for?

The course is designed for both experienced and inexperienced writers

- If you are an experienced writer and want to improve your efficiency and productivity, this course will help you reduce the time you spend writing, editing and rewriting your work. 

- If you are new to science writing, this course will help you understand the essentials of clear, straightforward sentences, without needing an in-depth knowledge of grammar.

Research scientists

This course will benefit research scientists who regularly publish their work.

Non-academic scientists

This course will benefit graduate scientists who do not publish research and rely on their scientific investigation and reporting skills to solve environmental, economic, medical or social issues.

Postgraduate science students

This course will benefit postgraduate science students from any discipline: for example medicine, life and environmental sciences, engineering, chemistry and physics. The course will also benefit students from other academic disciplines.


This course will benefit science graduates who work as consultants or within consultancy firms and rely on their scientific investigation and reporting skills to solve environmental, economic or social issues.

Professional writers

Science professionals are people who do not produce science themselves but write about science research and technology.

This course will also benefit professional writers who work in other evidence-based fields and are interested in brushing up on their writing skills.   


Course Fees

with 20% discount for Alumni students*

*Any person who has completed any type of Writing Clear Science training.

Email for your 20% student alumni discount code.

Self-study enrolment

Next release: 19th September 2022

One module released per week for three weeks. 

 20% discount for Alumni students*



  • 3 modules released over 3 weeks.
  • 1 year access to Course Library.
  • Technical support Mon-Fri
  • Writing Exercises (with example answers).
  • Downloadable worksheets & handouts. 
Premium Enrolment 

Next release:  19th September 2022

Three online modules released over three weeks, with live weekly tutorials (x4) and instructor feedback.

20% discount for Alumni students*



  • 3 modules released over 3 weeks.
  • Tutorial Group plus 4 live weekly tutorials
  • 1 year access to Course Library.
  • Feedback on Writing Exercises 
  • Downloadable worksheets & handouts. 

20% Alumni Discount

Any person who has completed

Writing Clear Science training is eligible for the 20% Alumni discount

To request an invoice prior to booking, please email


Course release: 19th September 2022

Premium Member Bookings close 16th September 2022


Premium versus Self-Study Enrolment

Self-Study Enrolment

- The self-study enrolment gives you 12 months access to the entire online course library. 

- All writing exercises have example answers.

- Budget-conscious students can work at their own pace and use the course roadmap to guide through the course. 

Premium Enrolment

- In addition to 12 months access, premium members have access to 4 x live weekly tutorials, where Marina answers your questions and gives further tuition on key topics.

- You will also receive written feedback on your writing exercise answers and access to the online tutorial group. 

Benefits & Outcomes

Improve your writing skills

This course will show you how to structure your thoughts and ideas into coherent sentences.

This course fits in well with our online course -  'How to be an Efficient (Science) Writer'.

Improve your editing skills

Learning how to rework and rewrite your first-draft sentences will greatly improve your editing skills. These skills will also improve the quality of feedback that you provide to other writers. 

Improve your productivity

As your writing skills improve, you will be able to produce more documents within a similar period of time or have more time to devote to other tasks and activities.

Improve your confidence

Improving your ability to design and produce clear sentences will reduce stress and allow you to feel more confident as a writer. 

What this course does not cover

       This course, 'The essentials of Sentence Structure' does not cover:

  • - How to write paragraphs, how to write concisely and document design are covered in face-to-face workshops. 
  • - The Essentials of Paragraph Structure and How to Write Clearly & Concisely are the next courses due for release late 2022/early 2023. To be kept up-to-date with new courses and blogposts, please subscribe to the Writing Clear Science newsletter.

(To request an invoice prior to booking, please email


Fantastic course - a perfect combination of content, scope and pace. 

Microbiologist PhD Student

Good advice. Very well taught. Good exercises to reinforce learning.

Simone Fraser Health writer

I will undertake writing with more confidence. I immediately applied the strategies in my report writing..

Julie Graham Environmental Consultant

Learning how to reduce the number of points and ideas in a sentence was particularly useful.

Anon. survey response - Engineering student.

Fantastic and useful; I found it helpful to work through the practical exercises.

Anon. survey response

I now know when my sentences are too long and how break them down appropriately to be easier to read.

Anon. survey response

Marina Hurley  

About The Course Instructor, Dr Marina Hurley

Originally an ecologist and insect-plant specialist,  I received my PhD in  Zoology (Insect-plant interactions) in 1997 and then worked as an academic and researcher. I found that I loved giving students feedback on their writing and switched to teaching writing full-time in 2004. Since then, I have developed a unique approach to teaching science writing that I deliver through my Writing Clear Science workshops and online courses. I teach scientists, students and science professionals from all walks of scientific life and all science disciplines.

I always look forward to seeing what current projects my students are working on and find it immensely rewarding to see how my teaching has helped so many people. In this current online course The Essentials of Sentence Structure, I show you how to design clear, straightforward sentences, without relying on complicated grammar terminology. This will help you spend less time editing and rewriting your work.

You can read my blog here 

You can read more about my background here:

Frequently Asked Questions

How much time will it take to complete the course?

- The minimum time commitment is 2-4 hours per week, depending upon how much time you take to complete each writing exercise, what module you are working on, how much writing you do as you complete the course and whether you are a self-study or premium member. 

- While completing the course, you are encouraged to prepare a first draft of a document. How long you take to do this is up to you. 

- For premium members, during the 3 week course release, Marina hosts a live tutorial webinar every week. These tutorial last 25-30 minutes and the replays are posted in the course library in case you cannot attend.

Do I have to start the course immediately? 

Self-study students can enrol for this course at any time. You can complete the course at your own pace as you have 12 months access to the course library.

For both self-study and premium students, the next course release is Monday 19th September, with one module released per week. You can complete the course at your own pace as you have 12 months access to the course library.

Do I need to know a lot of grammar before I start the course? 

No. Marina teaches sentence structure without relying on pre-existing grammar knowledge. All grammar terms used in this course are clearly defined in plain English. Additional training resources are also provided to help you understand some basic grammatical concepts.

Is the course taught by live online lectures?

No. All educational material is delivered through the online course library. All lectures are available as pre-recorded videos (each a maximum 10 minutes in length). The exercises and worksheets need to be downloaded and completed on your own computer. 

Premium members receive additional tuition and assistance via 4 weekly live tutorials where Marina discusses the exercises and key teaching principles in further depth and answers any questions. All tutorials are recorded if you cannot attend live. For Premium students, Marina also gives feedback on all exercise answers within 1-3 days after submission.

Do I need a background in science to complete this course? 

Marina Hurley primarily teaches scientists, science students and science professionals. While you do not need a science degree to complete this course, you will be expected to understand the basic principles of how science works.

This course is primarily designed for science writers producing peer-review science journal articles and science reports, including consultancy and client reports. However, if you are writing other types of documents you will still benefit from this course. 

Is this course suitable if English is my second language? 

Yes. However, you are expected to be able to write grammatically-correct sentences in English. If you are a Premium student and submitting your exercise answers for feedback, Marina may include additional feedback on how to improve your writing if the meaning is unclear.

How do you define 'science writing'?

Marina broadly defines science writing as writing about science. 

"...The key feature of all types of science writing is that the topic under discussion is a scientific topic:  that the information presented has been gathered, analysed and critiqued using accepted scientific methods. This is true whether you are presenting new science (e.g. research papers, theses), reviewing research by others (e.g. literature reviews, desktop reviews), reporting scientific approaches and methods to solve commercial or industry issues (e.g. reports, policy reviews) or writing about the astonishing world of science (e.g. news or magazine article)."

Read more from Marina's blogpost 'What is Science Writing?'.

Is being far away from Australia a difficulty for taking this course?

No. If you submit an exercise for feedback, Marina takes an average of 1-3 days to respond. If you have any problems with any aspect of the course, we will respond within 24 hours and aim to solve your issues in the shortest possible time. The live tutorialss (for premium members) are run at 1pm AEDT, so you would need to check your timezone to see if you can attend live. Otherwise, the replays are placed in the course library within 24 hours.

Do you teach about paragraphs in this course? 

No. The next online course The Essentials of Paragraph Structure will be released in early 2023. To be kept up-to-date about the next course releases, subscribe to our newsletter

Can I do the exercises if I don't have a current project?

Yes. Although some of the writing exercises are designed to help you produce content for a current document, you can write about any topic.

Are there other ways to pay besides going through the Trybooking link?

Yes. To request an invoice or other ways to pay, please download, then complete the pdf Registration Form, and return to

Are there any discounts available if I have completed other training with you? 

Yes. If you have ever completed any previous training with Writing Clear Science you are eligible for the 20% Alumni discount* on either course. 

(To request an invoice prior to booking, please email

Refund Policy

You can apply for a 100% refund if you are not satisfied with the course within 7 days of course commencement. Please note that you will not be eligible for a refund if you have progressed further than Step 3 Module 1.

Please also read our Terms & Conditions