What is a "science essay"?
Homework 1 (PDF)
Read 1st set of essays, reflections on science: Lightman, "Smile"; Thomas, "Crickets, Cats Bats and Chaos"; Doyle, "Joyas Voladoras"; Weed, "106 Science Claims . . ."
Letter to me
Audience: grabbing the reader
Literary techniques: scenes, imagery, characters . . .
Voice and tone
Science and life—the "non-quantifiable"
Homework 2 (PDF)
Read 2nd set of essays, on "doing science": Kanigel, from The Man Who Knew Infinity ; Hirsh, "Signs of Life"; Sacks, "Remembering Francis Crick"; Kolbert, "Crash Course"
Why do science? Who does science?
The writer as a "character" in his essay
Homework 3 (PDF)
Essay 1: reading response
Workshop essay 1
The home science essay; Natalie Angier, "Red"
Homework 4 (PDF)
Essay 2: home science
|5||Workshop essay 2||
Homework 5 (PDF)
Cover sheet for essay 2 workshop responses (PDF)
Read 3rd set of essays, on scientific controversies: Orr, "Devolution"; Shreeve, "The Other Stem-Cell Debate." Note: These essays are for discussion in Lec #7
Prep for workshop with Malden High School
|6||Workshop "home science" with Malden HS||
Homework 6 (PDF)
Read 4th set of essays, on scientific myths: Gopnik, "American Electric"; Singham, "The Copernican Myths"; Gould, "A Division of Worms." Note: These essays are for discussion in Lec #8.
Select a book to review—title due next class
Writing scientific controversies
The question of fairness
Making complexity clear
Asking the right questions
Homework 7 (PDF)
Revise essay 2
Science v. myth
What's at stake?
Making complexity clear
Prewriting for essay 3, life/science or social impact . . .
Homework 8 (PDF)
Read 5th set of essays, on the challenges of medical science: Patterson, "The Patient Predator"; Gawande, "Desperate Measures"
Public health and individual patients
Involving the reader
Homework 9 (PDF)
Read 6th set of essays, on the social impact of science and technology: Gladwell, "John Rock's Error"; Lightman, "Prisoner of the Wired World" and Seabrook, "Fragmentary Knowledge." Note: These 2 essays are for discussion in Lec #11.
The Pill: TV program as science essay, part I
Discuss The Pill and "John Rock's Error"
Homework 10 (PDF)
Prepare to present paragraph proposal for essay 3, life/science or social impact. . .
Technology and culture
Hear proposals for essay 3
Homework 11 (PDF)
Essay 3: life/science or social impact. . .
|12||Workshop essay 3||Work on essay 4|
|13||Workshop essay 3 (cont.)||
Homework 13 (PDF)
Read 4 book reviews [handouts]
Finish reading your chosen book
Book review as essay
Tight focus and wide significance
The language of judgment
Homework 14 (PDF)
Revise essay 3
Cover sheet for revision (PDF)
Read Overbye, "Remembrance of Things Future" and Pollan, "Unhappy Meals"
Strategizing the longer research essay
Questions about essay 4, book review?
Homework 15 (PDF)
Essay 4: book review
Essay 4 books list (PDF)
|16||Workshop essay 4 (PDF)||
Homework 16 (PDF)
Proposal for essay 5
|17||Workshop essay 4 (cont.)||
Homework 17 (PDF)
Work on essay 5; revise proposal
Present proposals for essay 5
Homework 18 (PDF)
Revise essay 4 - due next class
Prepare to present proposal paragraph for essay 5
|19||TV program as science essay, part II: Origins (video and discussion)||
Homework 19 (PDF)
Outline essay 5 or write introduction
Share outlines/intros in small groups
Individual conferences for essay 5
Homework 20 (PDF)
Essay 5; complete draft to be emailed to class before the next class
|21||Workshop essay 5 (PDF)||Breathe!|
|22||Workshop essay 5 (cont.)||
Continue to work on essay 5
Respond to your classmates workshop comments in writing
|23||Work on re-revision||
Homework 23 (PDF)
Re-revise one essay from essays 2-4
Cover sheet for re-revision (PDF)
|24||Guest speakers: Robert Kanigel and Marcia Bartusiak of MIT's Graduate Program in Science Writing||
Work on revision of essay 5 and re-revision of essays 2-4 as needed
Begin pulling portfolio together
|25||Watch science documentary: Leonardo's Dream Machines. PBS Home Video, 2006.||
Homework 25 (PDF)
Re-revise essay 5 for Portfolio
Write portfolio cover letter
Bring 1-2 paragraphs of science writing — writing from a science essay — that strikes you as especially good. Prepare to read it aloud and explain what you value in the writing. Your excerpt may be from something we've read from class, or not.
Hear favorite essays and discuss