Assignments

Please note: OCW users are not able to turn in assignments to the instructor or receive a grade for their work.

Writing Assignments

Format for Essays & Citations

Assignments 1-7

Assignments 8-15

Assignments 16-25

Major Assignments and Timelines

Detailed descriptions of assignments, plus criteria for evaluation, will be provided ahead of the proposal due date for each assignment.

To pass this class you must:

  • Complete all assignments
  • Complete 5000 words across the 4 main writing assignments
  • Significantly revise Essay 2, the Investigative Essay
  • Demonstrate the ability to credit sources consistently and appropriately

Science and/in Culture Essay

5 p. double-spaced (1500 words)

This essay reflects on the relationship between some aspect of science, technology, nature or medicine and culture, drawing on the writer’s own experience, our readings, and a bit of research. Its goal is to help readers see something relevant to their lives, in a fresh way. For further instructions, see Assignment #5.

Timeline

  • The day prior to Session 5: Post proposal on class website
  • The day prior Session 6: Post 1st complete draft on class website
  • Sessions 6 and 7: Workshop
  • The day after Session 26: Optional Revision due with Portfolio

Reading Journal

~8 entries, 250-300 words each

Reflections on our readings and your chosen web source of science writing. May provide ideas and material for your essays, as well as for class discussion.

Timeline

  • Session 2: Being Reading Journal
  • Session 23: Complete Reading Journal no later than this class

Investigative Essay

8-10 p. double-spaced (~2500 words)

An essay that investigates an aspect of science, medicine, nature or technology of your choosing. This essay should not merely inform and explain but should aim to answer a question that motivates the essay. It should situate the topic in a context, and make it clear to readers why the question matters. Readers will expect to hear your own thoughts on your question. For further instructions, see Assignment #12.

Timeline

  • The day prior to Session 8: Post proposal on class website
  • The day prior to Session 11: Post Revised Proposal and Annotated Bibliography on class website
  • The day prior to Session 14: Post 1st complete draft on class website
  • Sessions 13 and 14: Workshop
  • The day after Session 15: Respond online to workshop group members
  • The day after Session 17: Revision due

Book Review Essay

5 p. double-spaced (1500 words)

This essay introduces readers to a book on science or technology, while developing a theme or idea of interest to the writer. For further instructions, see Assignment #20.

Timeline

  • Session 5: Select book to read and review—email to instructor
  • The day prior to Session 21: Post 1st complete draft on class website
  • Sessions 21 and 22: Workshop
  • The day after Session 26: Optional Revision due with Portfolio

Oral Presentation

Your oral presentation for this class will be a report on your findings in tracking a topic on an online site. You’ll focus on what the site aims to do, how it does it, and how well it succeeds.

  • 8 minutes per speaker, plus 4 minutes of Q&A
  • Your main task will be to clearly describe what you found, what you thought your source did well (using specific examples), and what questions your findings raised: these may be questions about science, values, the way science is covered, or all three
  • You will want to guide your audience through some sample screen shots of the site to illustrate your talk

Timeline

  • Session 3: Email website choice + one back-up choice to the instructor before class
  • Session 17: Presentations

Portfolios

Save all written work to hand in, in a Portfolio. Due Session 26 or no later than noon the day after Session 26.

Course Info

Learning Resource Types

assignment Written Assignments