This guide begins with individual and/or group analyses of discourse on a topic you (or you and your group) select. (The topic must relate to the sciences.) You will create a research plan identifying the overall issue(s) you will address, the texts you will analyze, the kinds of analyses you will conduct, and the essays you will write. The final portfolio includes 15 finished pages of final, polished work. These pieces must represent at least two separate pieces written to different types of audiences. (No more than 4 pages of work written for another class will count toward the total.) The portfolio includes a cover sheet indicating the audiences addressed, the contextual factors considered as you wrote, and the key differences in context among your pieces. Class time during this portion of the course will be devoted to workshops, conferences, strategy sessions, and student group presentations on style issues. Again, daily assignments and portfolio work-in-progress due dates will be given in two-week increments.
In your portfolio, you will present your writing and some related documents to demonstrate what you have learned about science writing for particular contexts, about a subject, and for specified audiences. All that labor invested in analysis up to this point in the semester will now pay off! This overview briefly explains what you will include in and with the final portfolio.
Annotated bibliography. Sources consulted and used both in your pieces and in your context analyses (10 minimum). Include all sources: interviews, library research, Web sources. Use appropriate documentation style for the citations. Annotations will include a 1-2 sentence summary of the piece and 1-2 sentence notation about its usefulness to you. Put a * by each entry actually used as a source for your pieces.
Cover sheet. A detailed analysis of the context (purpose/audience/subject/author) for each piece, an explanation of how contextual factors influenced particular choices you made in writing each piece, and a brief comparison/contrast of your pieces.
Postscript. Your answers to a few questions about your writing process and the questions you would like answered by my comments.
Grading Criteria. A list of the criteria against which your finished pieces should be evaluated. We will establish a general set of criteria as a class and then you will negotiate specific criteria relevant to the contexts in which you are writing.
Finished Pieces of Writing. You will submit twelve to fifteen pages of finished, polished expository writing directed at particular audiences which focuses on the sciences in form and content. These finished pages must include at least two separate pieces. Each piece must differ in its context in some significant way (audience/purpose). Up to 4 pages may be comprised of all or part of a paper written to fulfill an assignment in another class. Graphics, photographs, and/or artwork certainly may be submitted with your writing to enhance its presentation, but these will not be evaluated and will not count toward the total of finished pages.
All of the above must be typed in the standard format (1 inch margins, double-spaced, readable font). Label each piece and submit the lot in a pocket folder. (This is your chance to buy that snappy folder you've had your eye on!)
Supplementary materials. Prepare a folder (I'd suggest an expandable one) with photocopies of sources, context analyses, drafts, workshops, notes, scribbles, etc. I reserve the right to ask to see this folder as I grade your portfolio, so be prepared to give it to me upon request during the last two weeks of the semester. I may, in fact, ask you to bring the folder to class during the last week so that I can assess it for participation points. I recommend using this folder from the earliest stages of research to keep yourself somewhat organized throughout the process.