GMS 6354: Communication Skills in a Forensic Context

Core Course
Credits: 3
Instructor: Dr. Tim Gallagher

This course will provide the student with an introduction to the importance of scientific report writing and forensic science professionalism. Foundational issues including ethics on a crime scene, academic plagiarism, and dishonesty within case report writing and courtroom testimony will be discussed with a focus on writing specialized forensic reports throughout.


  • Demonstrate proficiency in scientific report writing with forensic science applications.
  • Understand the differences in writing styles and techniques based on the role in a forensic investigation.
  • Distinguish between plagiarized work and original work with respect to casework analysis.
  • Explain techniques that contribute to successful public speaking in a court room.
  • Understand and explain the “on paper” steps of an investigation from the scene to the trail.
  • Define and explain jurisprudence and how it is used in forensic science.




Module 1 Citing Your Sources and Plagiarism in Scientific Report Writing
Module 2 Interacting with the Media and Avoiding Professional Bias in Casework
Module 3 Academic Writing in Forensic Research
Module 4 Report Writing for the Forensic Investigator
Module 5 Analytical Report Writing for the Forensic Science Expert
Module 6 Techniques of Successful Public Speaking – Explaining Forensic Science Topics to a Non-Forensic Scientist
Module 7 Expert Witness Testimony – From Scene to Trial
Module 8 Jurisprudence