WRTG 3030 Writing on Science and Society

Instructor Contact:

Jarad Krywicki, PhD

Email: jarad.krywicki@colorado.edu

About the Course:

Our asynchronous online course will immerse you in the study and practice of writing scientific arguments for expert and non-expert audiences. You will learn to recognize and analyze the rhetorical dimensions of scientific and science-related texts, and you will use this knowledge to hone your own writing and communication skills. We will read foundational scientific articles and papers, journalistic writing, and texts that foreground, clarify, and investigate the rhetorical dimensions of science writing genres. We’ll also explore scientific rhetoric in other forms of media, from the video and webcast to the meme. To facilitate our discussions and help foster insights into the current state of scientific discourse, a considerable portion of our course materials will concern sustainability and climate change.

Course Prerequisites: This course is intended for upper-division students in STEM fields.


During this course students will:

  1. Develop awareness and understanding of contemporary scientific discourse.
  2. Recognize and apply the rhetorical conventions of professional and popular modes of scientific writing.
  3. Analyze the rhetorical decisions and purposes of writers and content producers.
  4. Employ the techniques, terminology, and tactics employed by writers and researchers working in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
  5. Experiment with composition in various genres.
  6. Reflect on and enhance composition processes and practices.
  7. Hone critical thinking skills through close investigation of texts.
  8. Learn how to connect to and engage with our audience.
  9. Use evidence, analysis, and argument to craft compelling and convincing compositions.
  10. Undertake independent research and write persuasively about our findings.
  11. Generate and participate in discussions about scientific findings, sustainability, and writing.
  12. Provide and receive feedback on our writing.

Required Texts:

Schimel, Joshua. Writing Science: How to Write Papers that Get Cited and Proposals that Get Funded. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Grading (out of n points):

Assignments Points
Short Project #1: Communication in Your Field 100
Short Project #2: Rhetorical and Critical Analysis 200
Presentation #1: Educational Video or TED Talk 150
Final Project: Accommodating Your Research

·      First Draft Completion: 60 points

·      Revisions Completion: 40 points

·      Final Draft Assessment: 200 points

Peer Review Responses  50
Discussion Posts 200
Total 1000


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Monday – Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado