Proficiency in communicating about science and technology comes from both knowledge and practice, and this course emphasizes both. Through a variety of reading and writing assignments, we will examine general principles of good writing, as well as principles associated specifically with scientific and technical writing. We will also explore the effects of new media as avenues for communicating about science.
This course provides an introduction to writing about science (including medicine, technology, and engineering) for general readers. With a strong emphasis in background research, this course will help students build a foundation for strong science writing. Students will read works by accomplished science writers. Each assignment will focus on a different popular form, such as news articles, interviews, essays, and short features.
Like other scientists, medical researchers and clinicians must be capable of presenting their work to an audience of professional peers. Unlike many scientists, however, physicians must routinely translate their sophisticated knowledge into lay terms for their own patients and for the education of the public at large. A surprising number of physicians write for less utilitarian reasons as well, choosing the narrative essay as a means of exploring the non-technical issues that emerge in their clinical practice. Over the course of the semester, we will explore the full range of writings by physicians and other health practitioners.
This class addresses the craft of writing about science in and for contemporary society, both its pleasures and its challenges. We will read essays, reportage, op-eds, and web-based articles on a variety of topics concerning science, technology, medicine and nature. Readings by contemporary writers such as Elizabeth Kolbert, Atul Gawande, and Michael Pollan will serve as examples of the craft and sources of ideas for our own writing.
This subject serves as a broad introduction to the field of European and Latin American fiction. It is designed to help students acquire a general understanding of major fictional modes. We will pay attention not only to the literary movements these works represent, but also to the subtle interplay of history, geography, language and cultural norms that gave rise to specific literary forms. The books we read in this course are compelling, and film versions of five of the works we read give variety to the course and time to think about the interplay of film and print.
This course offers analysis and practice of various forms of scientific and technical writing, from memos to journal articles, in addition to strategies for conveying technical information to specialist and non-specialist audiences. Comparable to 21W.780 Communicating in Technical Organizations, but methods in this course are designed to deal with special problems of advanced ELS or bilingual students. The goal of the workshop is to develop effective writing skills for academic and professional contexts. Models, materials, topics and assignments vary from term to term.