Sample Weekly Syllabus

Student Weekly Syllabus

CO301B, Spring 2011 – Writing in the Sciences

Analyzing Rhetorical Context
Week 1 (Jan. 18-20)
Tuesday: Introduction to the course.
Readings due Thursday: Readings about water from Scientific American, National Geographic, etc., posted under Class Files in the Writing Studio. Read with an eye to why articles differ. Write the daily for Jan. 20 to bring to class on Thursday.  Bring a list of 2-3 possible site partners, including those you find on your own, to class on Thursday.

Thursday: Discuss water readings
Readings due Tuesday: Read about rhetorical context and its components in “Examining Writing through a Rhetorical Lens: Overview of the Rhetorical Context” and the casebook entry on rhetorical analysis in the Casebook Readings File Folder. Be prepared with questions about how to do a thorough rhetorical analysis on Tuesday. If you haven’t yet done so, read the calendar posting with the Fall 2010 synthesis assignment.

Week 2 (Jan. 25-27)
Tuesday: Rhetorical context in more detail
Readings for Thursday: Please read the casebook on text analysis (in the Casebook File Folder) and “Slime and the Cytoskeleton” posted on the calendar in the Writing Studio. Pay special attention to the strategies Summers uses to explain his points in this short article.

Thursday: Informing; text analysis
Readings due Tuesday: Read the excerpt from Gould’s Prologue to Bully for Brontosaurus and the excerpt from Rose’s “Writing for the Public” posted in the Advanced Rhetorical Readings File Folder in the Writing StudioRead casebook entries on interviews and surveys in the Casebook File Folder on the Writing Studio.

Setting up the Site Partner Project
Week 3 (Feb. 1-3)
Tuesday: Discuss Gould and Rose, particularly in light of public understanding of science;
Site Partner Proposal Memo.
For Thursday: Bring your sample site partner text to class for preliminary analysis. Please read the piece by Hayes & Bajzek in the Advanced Rhetorical Readings File Folder on the Writing Studio. Bring a topical outline of the Hayes & Bajzek piece to class on Thursday. Please also read about genre analysis in the Casebook File Folder on the Writing Studio.

Thursday: Discuss Hayes & Bajzek; genre analysis
Due Tuesday: Read article by Wynn in the Advanced Rhetorical Readings File Folder on the Writing Studio and write a topical outline.

Also, work with the sample you’ve brought from your site partner. Do an in-depth rhetorical analysis on this sample. Your goal is to learn as much as possible about the rhetorical context of your sample from the text itself. From this analysis, you’ll be able to specify more details about your target audience. All these insights will help you draft interview questions to get at the details you need for writing the texts for your site partner.

Week 4 (Feb. 8-10)
Tuesday: Discuss Wynn; paragraphing – logical and visual
Due Thursday: Read Segal in the Advanced Rhetorical Readings File Folder on the Writing Studio and write a topical outline.

Thursday: Discuss Segal; complete all analytic work
Due Tuesday: Draft your site partner proposal memo for workshop Tuesday. Read “How and why to workshop drafts” posted on the calendar in the Writing Studio. Read pp. 481-497 of the Shapin article in the Advanced Rhetorical Readings File Folder on the Writing Studio with special attention to “virtual witnessing” as descriptive and analytic technique. Write a topical outline of these pages and bring it with you to class.

Visual Design
Week 5 (February 15-17)
Tuesday: Discuss virtual witnessing and the importance of clear description and analysis.
Workshop on site partner proposal memo
Due Thursday: Revise site partner proposal memo. Prepare final draft of proposal memo.

Thursday: Submit the proposal memo and complete postscript in class. Visual design.
For Tuesday: Read the Hagan article posted under Advanced Rhetorical Readings on the Writing Studio. Bring your topical outline focusing on key points, particularly on pages 49-54.

Week 6 (February 22-24)
Tuesday: Review Hagan and discuss the complementarity of visual and verbal “texts.”
Due Thursday: Read Gould’s article, “The Case of the Creeping Fox Terrier Clone” in the Advanced Rhetorical Readings File Folder on the Writing Studio and write a topical outline.

Attending to Other Rhetorical Issues
Thursday: Gould, research, and source integration
For Tuesday: Read Reeves and write a topical outline. Prepare to discuss how writers present themselves through their texts. Begin work on addendum to project proposal–list of sources for your document(s)–due Week 7 at your conference.

Week 7 (March 1-3)
Tuesday: Discuss Reeves, particularly in light of the reliability of scientists as conveyed by their rhetorical choices.
For your conference: Plan questions you would like to discuss with me. Also, prepare your list of sources to turn in during your conference.

Conferences Wednesday/Thursday
For Tuesday: Read Nisbet & Mooney and responses. Also read Nerlich & James in the Advanced Rhetorical Readings File Folder on the Writing Studio. Do topical outlines for both readings. Be prepared to discuss the ways framing metaphors affect texts. Read casebook entry about text-based interviews posted in the Casebook File Folder on the Writing Studio and think of questions you should ask your site partner as you begin drafting your first site partner document.

Week 8 (March 8-10)
Tuesday: Framing; introductions
For Thursday: Draft the first chunk of your site partner project  – 1500 words total – and be sure to have a workable electronic version available in class for workshop on Thursday. Please remember to send me a copy of your workshop draft for comments. I will deduct a full letter grade from your final project if you do not send me a draft Thursday.

Focusing on the Site Partner Project
Thursday: Text-based interview and its effects on your revising. Workshop on first draft.  
For Tuesday: Continue drafting site documents. Bring a draft with you to class on Tuesday for some in-class activities. Complete your text-based interview(s) no later than April 7. Make an appointment NOW.

Week 9 (March 22-24)
Tuesday: Source integration. Tightening sentences, 1.
For Thursday: Finish drafting your second document (or 1500-word chunk of text) for workshop. Be sure to have a workable electronic version available in class for workshop on Thursday. Please send me an electronic copy for comment. I will deduct a full letter grade from your final project if you do not send me a draft of an additional 1500 words Thursday.

Thursday: Workshop on another draft document.
For Tuesday: Revise and think about how workshop suggestions might fuel specific text-based interview questions. Complete your text-based interview by April 7! Read Suleski & Ibaraki in Advanced Rhetorical Readings folder and write a topical outline.

Week 10 (March 29-31)
Tuesday: Discuss Suleski & Ibaraki, particularly in terms of how scientists hope to communicate to lay audiences and to other scientists.
For Thursday: Continue drafting site documents. Complete your text-based interview this week or next. Read “A Handy-Dandy Explanation of One Way to Avoid Misusing the Lowly Comma” posted on the calendar. Bring all your questions about sentence-level editing on Thursday.

Thursday: Tightening sentences, 2.

Week 11 (April 5-7)
Tuesday: Work day (a great opportunity for a conference)
For Thursday: Prepare a complete project draft for workshop on Thursday. The closer this draft is to your planned final document, the more helpful our comments on it will be. I will deduct a full letter grade from your final project if you do not send me a draft of an additional 1500 words Thursday.   Thursday will be the last day to give me drafts before the project is due.

Thursday: Workshop on the complete draft of all site partner project pages.
For Tuesday: Read “Editing and Proofreading Strategies” posted on the calendar in the Writing Studio. See also, the Online Writing Center module called Editing and Proofreading Strategies for more explanation; http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/processes/editing/

Week 12 (April 12-14)
Tuesday: Workshop on draft (required work on a peer draft).
For Thursday: Finish final revisions and begin polishing sentences. Start formatting.

Thursday: Editing workshop.
For Tuesday: Finish final editing and formatting

Week 13 (April 19-21)
Tuesday: Formatting workshop
For Thursday: Finish polishing and formatting.

Thursday: Site partner project due. Complete postscript in class.
For Tuesday: Take a deep breath and relax. Bring all your topical outlines from the term to class on Tuesday.

Revision and Reflection
Week 14 (April 26-28)
Tuesday: Introduction of final assignment.
For Thursday: Begin drafting final paper.

Thursday: Questions about final assignment.
For Tuesday: Complete workshop draft of synthesis assignment.

Week 15 (May 3-5)
Tuesday: Site partner project returned with comments. Students will begin final revisions for the site partner. Workshop on synthesis assignment.
For Thursday: Revise synthesis assignment based on workshop feedback.

Thursday: Post final forum (synthesis paper). Student evaluations.

For Final Exam time:

Bring two copies of the final site documents – one for me and one for your site partner. Also bring an electronic version of the site partner documents to give to your site partner. Please remember to bring back the marked up copy of your project when you turn in your clean copy to me.

Finals Week
We will have a final gathering of students and site partners during the final exam time. Students need to be prepared to display their final copies of document(s) for all to browse. Then students will turn over a final copy of the document(s) to the site partner (paper and electronic copies) and to me.
Final session – May 9, 9:40-11:40