MCDB 401 - Advanced Topics in Biology
Section: 001 Science Writing
Term: FA 2008
Subject: Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB)
Department: LSA Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
Requirements & Distribution:
With permission of instructor.
Advisory Prerequisites:
CMB senior concentrators or Graduate standing. Prerequisites will be set by the instructor as appropriate for each section.
This course counts toward the 60 credits of math/science required for a Bachelor of Science degree.
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:

Advisory Prerequisites: prior or concurrent enrollment in MCDB or EEB 300 or 400. Registration is by permission of instructor only.

This course is an introduction to the types of writing engaged in by biologists. Students will learn by reading, discussion, writing, rewriting, presenting, and more discussion. Students must have prior or ongoing experience working in a biological research laboratory. We will consider a variety of types of texts, with the goals of understanding how these texts are written and what their roles are in the broader scientific community. The two overarching goals of this course are 1) to help students learn how to read, write, and present science research, and 2) to consider various purposes and processes required for communication in science. Students should understand that scientists must communicate in a variety of formats, that much of our writing is critically evaluated, and there are accepted formats, conventions, and ethics involved in these processes.

Class time will be spent actively engaging in the processes scientists use to communicate: reading, writing, discussing, evaluating, critically reviewing, analyzing. Most in-class projects will be done in groups; out-of-class assignments will be done as individuals. The sequencing of discussion and assignments is designed to begin with the most specialized audiences and move gradually towards more mixed audiences and then finally to broaden our focus into the public domain. The assignments will include a profile of a research community, a figure legend, a research report, a conference poster evaluation, a portion of a research proposal, a literature review, and a presentation for a general public audience.

Required textbooks:
Penrose, A.M. and Katz, S.B. (2004) Writing in the Sciences. (2nd ed.) New York: Pearson Longman.
Strunk, Jr., W. and White, E.B. (2000) The Elements of Style. (4th ed.) New York: Longman.

MCDB 401 - Advanced Topics in Biology
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
002 (LEC)
MW 6:00PM - 8:00PM
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