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Quantitative Analysis and Writing in the Disciplines: Reporting Research: Citizen Science

Have you ever wanted to present the results of your own research project?  Would you like to improve your skills in writing about science?  Do you want to learn more about your options for communicating data in tables and graphs? If so, then this course might be for you.

In W410, Reporting Research: Citizen Science, we will look at the ways that results from research can be communicated to both expert and general audiences. In doing so, we will explore key aspects of reporting research including how to use sources, how to track and compile data, and how to show data trends using tables and graphs.  These efforts will culminate in both a research report that adopts the conventions used in the sciences as well as a shorter piece that is intended for a general audience.

A key part of this course is the opportunity for students to engage in a short research project of their own choosing.  We will use these research projects as the basis for developing our skills in reporting research methods and results.  Students can either come to the course with their own research project or can draw data and ideas for their work from online sources of Citizen Science projects such as Zooniverse or SciStarters.  

This course is open to undergraduate and graduate students and fulfills both the ULWR and QR/2 requirement.

Through this course, students will:

  • Engage in research about a topic of interest;
  • Write in different genres;
  • Develop the ability to think critically about quantitative information;
  • Display numerical information in graphs, tables, diagrams;
  • Construct arguments supported by evidence and data.

Course requirements:

  • Produce approximately 25 pages of polish, revised writing;
  • Engage in revision of major writing projects in order to improve content, organization and style;
  • Integrate feedback on drafts into revised pieces;
  • Participate in peer feedback sessions;
  • Regularly attend class and engage with course content.
  • Complete reading assignments and in-class writing assignments

Graduate students who enroll in W410 will be need to complete the above as well as an additional eight (8) pages of writing as part of their research report.  

Intended audience: Students (undergraduate and graduate) who want both to engage in an original research project and to hone their skills in presenting research to different audiences.

Class Format: The class meets for 90 minutes, twice a week. Class meetings will include time devoted to lectures or presentations as well as seminar-style discussions, active learning sessions, freewriting and/or peer feedback on writing assignments.