Week 1

Week 2

  • M  Aug 25 Let’s talk about The Great Brain Experiment (groupr write) and the Science it produces.  One on Crowdsourcing for Cognitive Science, the other about “dissociating distractor-filtering.” Group 1 Summary.  Group 2 Summary
    Introduce Unit 1, writing the literature review: (“Cleft Palate Care in Resource Limited Settings.”
    : using one of UNC’s databases, WEB OF SCIENCE, find an article–a lit review is best but it can be ANY article (in the sciences) on a topic of your choosing. For instance, if I’m interested in looking at octopus intelligence I might search for the terms: octopus, intelligence, review, I might find this citation and abstract that offers one type of review. You can get the full article by clicking on the blue “find at UNC” button on the navigation page.
  • W Aug 27 Literature Reviews: history of a genre. Generating ideas, looking at science journals: find a solid topic. Doing effective library research.
    Homework: find a topic and at least four articles on that topic. Make sure these articles cover breadth as well as depth. Write a brief summary of at LEAST one of these articles (two to four sentences).

    *Weekly Science Article: Check out science writer Maria Konnakova’s breakdown of the science of creativity.  Note that her use of Galton is a little whitewashed. She emphasizes Galton’s search for positive inheritable traits–like genius–while obscuring most of his more questionable science, which formed the foundations for eugenics and the exploration of (what he called “typing”) the physical characteristics of criminals as well as the insane.  Today, we call this type of activity is akin to “profiling,” and not the cool CSI type of profiling but the unjust profiling that informs most racial profiling incidents.  A famous incident involving unjust racial profiling occurred in 2009, when police arrested Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr (a prominent African American intellectual) while trying to enter his OWN HOME).

Week 3

Week 4

  • M Sept 8 Annotated bibliography workshop. Homework: Revise your annotated bibliography for submission
  • W Sept 10 Annotated bibliographies due via email. Send to I’ll send feedback by Friday, September 12.  In class today we’ll be making connections: Making a Design Plan. panda lit review
    Homework: write a summary of your topic based on your annotated bibliography. If you wish to begin shaping it into a Literature Review, feel free to start but all I want for monday is a summary of your topic based on the research you’ve done thus far.

Week 5

  • M Sept 15 Summary Drafting Workshop and Talking about Integrative vs. Descriptive literature reviews. Homework: find one literature review on a topic related to your own. Read and write a review summary of your topic based on your annotated bibliography.  Email it to me, by 2pm on Wednesday September 17.
  • W Sept 17  UNC science trivia! And Help the Smithsonian with Transcriptions (optional!). Sign up and transcribe a page from a project of your choice.   EMAIL me your responses to the trivia. If you decide to do the transcription, and a brief (two to three sentence) account of what project you helped transcribe and the page you transcribed.  DUE: THURSDAY SEPT. 18 VIA EMAIL:
    Homework: find ONE literature review. I recommend using the database, Web of Science. You can do a preliminary search using the main search engine, but then will want to specify the “document type” on the left-hand side bar to narrow your results to “reviews” or “literature reviews.” Read your lit review and prepare to discuss on Monday. Revise your summaries!

Week 6

  • M Sept 22 Lit Reviews. Genre Conventions and Beginning and Ending.  The perfect outline. Homework: complete a draft your literature review!
  • W Sept 24 Literature Review Drafting Day. And guest science speakerMatthew Revilla will talk about his work in cancer research at UNC’s medical school. Matthew is a social/clinical research assistant.  Workshop. Homework: revise your literature review

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

  • M Oct 20 Effective Speaking exercise.  Critiquing the Grant Proposal. Consumer awareness grant proposal example
    Homework: Revise your SURF application. 
  • W Oct 22 Final SURF grant Drafting Workshop. Elocution exercises. Sign up for presentations. Homework: revise your SURF application! Prepare for presentations.

Week 11

  • M Oct 27 presentations: Frank, Grace, and talking about stuff
  • W Oct 29 presentations: Kat, Joe, Cath, Kenya, Deavyn, Nikki

Week 12

  • M Nov 3 presentations: Jessica, Steven, Bryan, Kiana, Philip
  • W Nov 5 presentations: Tommy, Samuel, Tay, Carter, Mary, Jon

Week 13

Week 14

Week 15

    Homework: You’ll need to revise your summaries and craft them into rich, interesting blog posts using the visual tools and style exercises we discussed in class on Wednesday (Nov. 19).  Finally, you’ll want to search the web to find useful hyperlinks to make your text hyper-rich.   I’ll email each of you feedback by Wednesday, Nov. 26.  I know, it’s a holiday, but try to block out at least 1-2 hours to review my comments and adding in those visuals and hyperlinks.  A polished draft will be due on Monday December 1 when you return from break when we’ll have a final drafting workshop.
  • W Nov 26 NO CLASSES Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend.

Week 16

  • M Dec 1 Final Drafting Workshop. Words, words, words. Revise your drafts.
  • W Dec 3 Last Day of Class. Unit 3 Final Project due. To be uploaded in class. THERE IS NO FINAL EXAM. Best of luck on the rest of your exams and enjoy the break.





writing in the natural sciences