Unit 1: Science Literature Review
I’ve spent the last year or so harassing every person I know working in various science disciplines, from medicine to public health to chemistry, to see what type of science writing they typically do. Though genres of science writing often vary between disciplines, one particular genre of writing came up in every discussion: the literature review.  In fact, literature reviews are common writing tasks for most majors in the college of arts and sciences.  Given the ubiquity of this writing task, you will begin our semester writing literature reviews on topics of your choosing.

Unit 2: Grant Writing
Funding is an important factor in the sciences.  Grants are one important source of this funding.  So, for Unit 2 you’ll be creating your own version of a grant application in response to  UNC’s SURF grant program.  SURF stands for Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship.  The program is administer by the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) and is designed to fund UNC students in pursuit of educational experience outside the classroom.  The educational experience students seek can be of their own making, or can be applied to a specific program of the student’s choice, but the educational experience must involve at least 9 weeks of research, scholarship or performance.

Unit 3: Popular Science Writing
Unit 3 comes from my love of popular science writing. One science blogger I’ve come to admire is Ed Yong. I’ve taken his blog, Not Exactly Rocket Science, as the theme for our course and the object of this assignment.  Why?  Because “The universe is made of stories, not atoms” (Muriel Rukeyser, The Speed of Darkness, 1968).


writing in the natural sciences