WRTG 3030 Writing on Science and Society

Instructor Contact:

Name: Dr. Lev Szentkirályi

Email: szentkiralyi@colorado.edu

About the Course:

This interdisciplinary course teaches conventions of academic research and writing by examining current domestic and global environmental health hazards—which challenge students to engage difficult texts in the health sciences, environmental policy, environmental law, and social justice.  Some of the issue-areas we will explore include pesticides in foods, infectious diseases and emerging pandemics, climate change, antibiotic resistance, and the objectivity and limits of the scientific research method.  Through diverse course readings, independent research, formative writing assignments, and the critical evaluation of contemporary scholarship on these issue-areas, students will learn to identify, critique, and apply common conventions of research, analysis, and writing that define scholarship in their respective majors.  And in having students apply lessons of rhetorical analysis learned in the classroom to complex, real-world policy problems, this course strives to motivate students to think critically about the role that science should have in creating public policy, the influence of corporate special interests on the decision-making process, and the responsibilities the educated citizen and researcher has to her community.


By the end of the course you should be able to (1) develop rhetorical knowledge by reading and writing a range of academic arguments—which will attend to a variety of rhetorical considerations, including context, audience, purpose, rhetorical appeals, genre- and discipline-specific conventions of writing and research, and so forth—while using effective evidence and providing appropriate analysis; (2) develop an intimate understanding of writing processes and information literacy by drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading your own work; by reading and critiquing the work of others; and by engaging in a number of formative writing assignments using primary and secondary source materials; (3) develop a working understanding of the conventions and principles of academic research, analysis and writing in your discipline of study, and to implement these conventions and principles in your writing; (4) explore the broader implications of scientific research and writing, as well as our obligations to our communities as educated students and writers.

Required Texts:

There is only one required text for this course: Weston, Anthony. A Rulebook for Arguments, 5th ed. (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2017).

Grading (out of n points):

N/A (Students’ grades will be determined by three papers, collaborative annotations of all assigned course readings, and weekly online reading comprehension quizzes.)

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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