Directions: Please read the information on this sheet carefully. Topic and Background information

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Writing 2: Academic Writing – Writing in the Sciences Unit 1

Paper #1: Assignment and Guidelines

Directions: Please read the information on this sheet carefully.
Topic and Background information: Science and Society: "Science and the technologies it has spawned form the basis of all human activity, from the houses that we live in, the food that we eat, the cars that we drive, to the electronic gadgetry in almost every home that we use to remain informed and entertained.” Sydney Brenner, Director of the Molecular Science Institute

Assignment: This assignment asks you to report on the impact of science on your life. The purpose of this unit is to explain the processes by which scientific achievements have transformed our lives. In your paper you should address not only the historical aspects of your topic but also the social and ethical aspects of a particular scientific field or innovation on daily life. Try to become as much of an expert as possible in your chosen field. In your writing you should state your thesis clearly, be specific in your explanations, and use sources to help you prove your points.

There are several stages involved in writing this essay, each of which will be discussed in further detail in class; but briefly, they are:

1. Select a topic and form a research question - You are free to choose your own topic. Some areas you might begin thinking about include science and agriculture-genetically modified foods; science and medicine/health-genetics, cloning, vaccination; science and energy-sustainability, solar power; science and the environment-global warming, recycling; science and education-standardized testing, intelligent design; science and war-nuclear technology; science and religion. These topics are of course too broad for a short research paper so focus your research question on a very specific historical event, development, or technology. Be sure you can vividly argue your point with convincing evidence.

2. Compile a bibliography - Minimum of 7 sources including at least three journal articles. Once you’ve selected a topic and developed a general sense of the requirements of the assignment, you need to gather information on this topic, using both library and Internet resources.

I suggest the online databases located at which may be accessed at home by following the email link I sent to you.

3. Read and annotate sources - Minimum of 3 annotations; including one book.
Work carefully through the sources of information that you’ve identified as important for your essay. Select the most significant material from them, including data and direct quotations. Take notes as you read! Use APA format for your in-text and bibliographic citations.

4. Write a draft of the essay
Based on careful analysis of all your source materials including your own experience, our course readings and class discussions, write an essay that argues for your newly informed perspective. You will be evaluated on how thoroughly you evaluate and present evidence in your support of your thesis. Your paper should be 5-7 pages double spaced —not including your title page or works cited page. Your paper must be written using APA format.
Suggestions for getting started: Working from the notes you developed as you read through your library and web sources, write a complete draft of the essay. This draft will be read and commented on by other students in the class, and by me; you can also show the draft to the tutors at CLAS, or to anyone else who you think will give you useful feedback.
5. Revise the draft
Incorporating the comments you received from the various readers of your draft, make revisions that strengthen the final essay. Bring your information together in a clear, coherent, and grammatically correct document. Your essay should have a title page and a Works Cited list.
Evaluation Criteria:

  1. A creative and descriptive title that reflects your thesis or proposition.

  2. An introductory paragraph (or series of paragraphs) that previews your entire paper.

  3. A thesis or proposition stated clearly in your introductory section—refer to thesis statement guidelines handout.

  4. Logically ordered paragraphs developed with specific, convincing, and properly cited evidence.

  5. Clear distinctions between your ideas and those of the authors you cite.

  6. A concluding paragraph (or series of paragraphs) summarizing your main points, the significance of your paper, and describing areas for further inquiry.

  7. Properly cited works cited page in APA format. (See A Writers Reference 365-385)

  8. Adherence to formal conventions of grammar, diction, spelling, mechanics, and usage.

A superior paper will:

  • Show clarity, depth, and complexity of thought

  • Explain or illustrate key ideas with a good deal of elaboration and specificity

  • Show syntactic variety and demonstrates a sophisticated command of language appropriate to your audience—in this case your fellow classmates and your instructor

  • Be generally free from errors in mechanics, usage, and sentence structure

  • Address urgent and non-trivial aspects of the topic


What’s Due

In Class

For Next Time

9/28 or 10/2

First Day of Class Introductions, Syllabus Writing Sample. (Or, last day of previous unit connect science writing to prior unit.) Unit introduction and review of assignment.

Read WIW Chapter

Read Summary Guidelines

Supplementary reading

Toby Fulwiler, College Reading

10/3 or 10/4

Summary of Article 1

Writing Process

Tools and Spaces – in class writing and discussion.

Critical Discussion of Article See Critical Thinking handout. (Individual writing, pair share, small group, whole group or have a couple of people read, then move to analysis.) What’s good about difficult texts and questions? Introduction to argument Claim / Evidence / Warrant

What counts as evidence in this article? In the university? In science?

Read WIW Chapter

Read Hacker 3-12

10/05 or 10/09

Summary of Article 2

Purpose and Audience

Prewriting techniques for research question

Take them through prewriting their topic.

Have another in depth article discussion –Do you have anything to add? Model working on developing research question.

Supplementary reading Wayne Booth “Craft of Research”

From Topics to Questions

10/10 or 10/11
1 Page Discovery Draft/Research Proposal –

Whole class discussion on research questions.

1 Hour Library Orientation or meet in computer lab.

10/12 or 10/16

Rough Draft Due 2-4 pages/Bring three printed copies to class

Peer Review

Review annotated bibliography.

Plagiarism and citations;

Summary, paraphrase, quotation.

Could diverge here to annotated bibliography and informal short writing assignments.

Read Hacker 381-407

10/17 or 10/18

(Give extension until 10/23 or 10/24) revision workshop using student writing, include mini lessons based on common errors from drafts. Ex. Active verbs vs. state of being verbs, active vs. passive, sentence combining, introductions etc…

10/19 or 10/23

Science Portfolio and Research Report Due

In class reflection on portfolio. (see handout)

Begin new unit and/or read around.

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