ENGL 199 G: Interdisciplinary Writing/natural Science

Meeting Time: 
MWF 12:30pm - 1:20pm
MGH 076
Julie Dykema
IWP - Linked with BIOL 180

Syllabus Description:

Welcome to English 199 G!  This course is a writing link to your Biology 180 class.  A “writing link” is composition class in which we write about topics and themes from the linked course.  Where your lecture course will cover many topics quickly, we will cover only a few of these topics in greater depth, analyzing and applying scholarly work from the field of Biology to develop a sense of how scientists communicate to the scholarly community and to the public, and how published scholarship works collectively to create knowledge in Biology.

In addition to these course goals, my objectives for this course are to promote greater comfort, confidence, and competence in:

  • critically analyzing, summarizing, and synthesizing texts from within the discipline of Biology, including the related abilities of recognizing and evaluating writers’ purposes, claims, and supporting evidence.
  • making connections between texts, identifying and/or articulating how different texts affirm, extend, qualify, and/or conflict with each other.
  • analyzing and evaluating your own writing and the writing of your peers in order to generate revision suggestions that result in successful and substantive revision (i.e., revising the guts of the writing rather than surface details like syntax, spelling, and grammar).

Course Structure 

This course will be divided into three assignment sequences, each culminating in a presentation draft of a paper that will be assessed for a grade.  At the end of the quarter, I will ask you to review and reflect upon all of the writing that you did for this course and write a reflective letter that discusses your experience of the course and any changes you noticed in yourself as a reader or writer.  

Each sequence will begin with regular in-class freewrites and overnight writing assignments.  These assignments will help you to generate ideas for the “conference” draft of your paper.  As the name indicates, you and I will discuss revision ideas for your conference draft in a one-on-one meeting that will last 20-30 minutes.  Based on my suggestions, your own assessment of your work, and peer feedback, you will revise your conference draft and submit it for a grade, bringing the sequence to a close. Note: we may have group conferences for the second and third major assignments.

Revised Calendar, as of 4/18/16

Complete Syllabus


Catalog Description: 
Expository writing based on material presented in a specific natural science lecture course. Assignments include drafts of papers to be submitted in the specified course, and other pieces of analytical prose. Concurrent registration in the specified course required.
GE Requirements: 
English Composition (C)
Writing (W)
Last updated: 
October 5, 2016 - 9:41pm