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Advanced Rhetoric and Research

Writing 400.001 - Writing in the Sciences

Writing in the Sciences intends to prepare students interested in science to write in a variety of professional disciplines. Communicating scientific information calls for a keen awareness of audience expectation. Students in this course will write in at least two forms of science communication, an academic article and a public-facing news piece, in order to build skill in identifying and targeting a specific audience. Class discussions will focus on the structure of these forms and their intentions as well as elements of scientific style on the sentence level. Students will practice writing and revising in these two situations.

The course will also help students to strengthen their research skills in scientific disciplines by finding, reading, and interpreting quantitative scholarly information. Students will gain experience working collaboratively through structured peer review.

The course fulfills the ULWR. 

Course Requirements:

  • Regular attendance and participation
  • Peer editing and conferencing on assignment drafts
  • One-on-one conferences with course instructor
  • Research paper on a topic of scientific interest
  • Journalistic writing assignment

Intended Audience:

Upperclassmen science majors or students interested in science who want to improve their research skills as well as their skill and versatility as writers.

Class Format:

This class meets for 1 hour three times per week and will feature a mixture of writing workshop exercises, facilitated group discussions, short instructor lectures, and one-on-one conferences between students and the course instructor.

Previous Topics

Writing 400 - The Working Writer

What do professional writers do all day? And what might your own life entail if you become one?

This course is designed for you to find out.

Together, we will research writers we value, discover conversations they’ve participated in and trace the research they’ve done to get there. We will examine their methods, styles, habits, and obsessions. Along the way we’ll expand our own boundaries as writers—utilizing new research methods and rhetoric to produce projects of our own with power and authority.

The course fulfills the ULWR. 

Course Requirements:

The two major assignments include a discursive encyclopedia entry on a writer of your choice and a researched project that serves a community you care about. Smaller assignments will help build these projects and introduce you to a wide array of research methods that include archival, observational, social media, quantitative and interview work.