Course Schedule

Week 1

Wednesday Jan 8: First Day! Getting to know you and getting in groups

  • HOMEWORK: Atul Gawande’s “Letting Go” (a piece about death and dying and the role of medicine) and Ed Yong’s ”Deconstructing Gawande” (a piece about Gawande’s science writing)


Week 2

Monday Jan 13: Writing and Genre. Begin Unit 1: The Dread Lit Review: finding a topic and using library resources

Wednesday Jan 15: Library Research Day!

  • HOMEWORK: Find (at least!!) three recent* articles on your topic. Read carefully and bring to class (electronic or print: just have them downloaded or hard copied). *recent varies from discipline to discipline and topic to topic. In some cases you’ll need to keep it very recent, like within the last year. In other cases, the past five years will suffice, in very very rare cases you may need to cite research that is 10 or more years old, but this only happens when a research topic is completely abandoned and taken up many years later.
  • RECOMMENDED READING: “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences” by Eugene Wigner and this little pop science bit about string theory.


Week 3

Monday Jan 20: MLK memorial day. 

Wednesday Jan 22: Guest Scientist: Jordan Glassman, discussing Eugene Wigner’s “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences” + Annotated Bibs + Reading Previous Research and Identifying Trends and Patterns.

  • HOMEWORK: Draft your annotated bib! (have at least 5 sources for the drafting workshop: the more sources the better)


Week 4

Monday Jan 27: Annotated Bibliography Rough Draft Workshop

  • HOMEWORK: Polish that annotated bib!

Wednesday Jan 29: Annotated Bibliography Due! EMAIL DIRECTLY TO no later than 3pm on Jan. 29.  THE LIT REVIEW: Making a design plan for lit reviews.  Example paper, panda lit review.

  • HOMEWORK:  Using at least five of your sources, begin to draft your literature review. Think in terms of narrative: how are these various articles in dialogue with each other? What is the best order in which to present your research on this topic? Use the “map” you created in class to begin this process. Have at least 800 words written for first drafting workshop on Thursday.


Week 5

Monday Feb 3: The Art of Introductions; First Drafting Workshop for Unit 1 Project (U1)

  • HOMEWORK: Complete your U1 final project draft. As you complete your draft think about what goals your research supports and the different trajectories for continuing research on this topic.  Remember that your literature review should not only be a summary of past research; it should also point to new directions for research.

Wednesday Feb 5: Guest scientist, Matthew Revilla will talk about his work in cancer research at UNC’s medical school. Matthew is a social/clinical research assistant.   Final draft workshop.

  • HOMEWORK: polish that draft! Have a draft ready for peer review. We’ll be exchanging articles electronically in class.


Week 6

Monday Feb 10: Unit 1 Final Project Due. Uploaded to website in class.  Begin Unit 2!

 *****STUDY BREAK*****
See what science says about making the most of your studies:
*****STUDY BREAK*****

Wednesday Feb 12: 
Library Research, Evaluating Sources, and Reviewing Literature.

  • HOMEWORK: Draft your mini-review and intervention strategy using AT LEAST 3 RESOURCES.


Week 7

Monday Feb 17:  mini-Literature Review drafting workshop. Grant Proposals and PSAs as a genre.

  • HOMEWORK: Revise your Literature review.

Wednesday Feb 19:  MRC day. Meet in the MRC! (basement of the UL)

  • HOMEWORK: Think carefully about how you might sketch a storyboard for your PSA. How will you be presenting your issue? What multimedia effects will best support your claim? How will you convey the information (in a serious fashion, humorous?).


Week 8

Monday Feb 24:  Feeder 1 mini-review due! PSA story-board workshop day.

  • HOMEWORK: Finish filming and editing your PSAs.

Wednesday Feb 26: MRC day (conferences).

  • HOMEWORK: Finish editing PSA and upload a draft to YouTube or Vimeo, EMAIL ME A LINK!


Week 9

Monday March 3: PSA share day! Grant Proposals as a Genre, transforming lit reviews into grant proposals; crafting the Grant Proposal narrative and budget.

  • HOMEWORK: Revise your PSA as necessary and upload your final draft to YouTube or Vimeo. Begin tranforming your lit review into a grant proposal (craft that intro! begin narrative and budget)

Wednesday March 5:  PSA Due: We will upload in class. Grant Proposal Example Critique!



Week 10

Monday March 10: SPRING BREAK

Wednesday March 12: SPRING BREAK


Week 11

Monday March 17: Getting stuff in order day.

  • HOMEWORK: Keep on keeping on.

Wednesday March 19:  Guest Scientist: Brian Evans talking about his ecology work (and birds!); Drafting Workshop: Common Mistakesexample grant proposal


Week 12

Monday March 24: PSA/Grant Proposal Presentations: Callie, Walker, & Kevin

  • HOMEWORK: Complete Grant Proposal (draft introduction, abstract, and revise narrative and budget as necessary).

Wednesday March 26:  PSA/Grant Proposal Presentations: Amanda & Chiara, Mia & Bryant, Dante, Conor, Matt


Week 13

Monday March 31:  PSA/Grant Proposal Presentations.   Ellie & Amy, Solomon, Thomas & Jacob, Jesse & Tailong, Kelly

Wednesday April 2: Genre Analysis: pop vs professional science writing; Ed Yong’s take on Oxytocin (the so-called “love hormone” on his science blog. A more lengthy analysis of this study in his article, on The Scientist. And finally, the original oxytocin article abstract published in PNAS Guests Scientists! Kate Coleman and Talia Hatkevich-O’Donnell

  • HOMEWORK: select 3 articles from Not Exactly Rocket Science or an approved science blog on Science Blogs or Discover Blogs. Read thoroughly and take notes. Pay attention to style as well as content and formal structure. Identify specific rhetorical appeals. Using these articles, draft a brief analysis of the popular science article as a genre to bring to class.  How are they organized? What type of content do they typically have? What kinds of additional links/images do the usually include? How are they introduced? Concluded?

Week 13

Monday April 7: First, article discussion:  “This is a news website article about a scientific paper”; and  “On jargon, and why it matters in science writing”  Second: Genre Analysis redux:  Genre Analysis Writing/Drafting Workshop

  •  HOMEWORK:  listen to a podcast of RadioLab! (You should be submitting your genre analysis final drafts at the end of class (emailed to me:

Wednesday April 9: Science Summary: can do! Finding your science article: DISCOVERING SCIENCE!

  •  HOMEWORK: 1) Read your science article and draft a short summary (300-600 words). 2) find one additional article that might help you better explain the concepts of your primary article (or that might be a good article for “further reading.”


Week 14

Monday April 14: Science Summary Drafting Workshop

  • HOMEWORK: Revise feeder 2.

Wednesday April 16: Summary Due! EMAIL ME YOUR SCIENCE SUMMARY (
Visualizing Science and Making Connections: adding images, links and additional resources to your science summary to help shape and expand your summary. Making Good on Science Blogging, Introductions: Hook, Line, and Sinker

  • HOMEWORK: Write a snazzy introduction to your science summaries and begin to shape your summaries into exciting blog posts (look for images, graphs and extra links to include in your study)


Week 15

Monday April 21: Drafting Workshop for Popular science blogging!

  • HOMEWORK: POLISH THAT DRAFT. We will post our blogs together in class on Wednesday, April 23.

Wednesday, April 23: Last Day of Class. Unit 3 Final Project Due!