Course Overview and Policy Statements



Text Analysis

Individual Topics

Reflective Writing

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Authors & Contributors

Policy Statement - Kiefer

CO301B Policy Statement
K. Kiefer, 338 Eddy, 491-6845
E mail:
Office hours: 10TR and by appointment
Writing Center hours: Mondays through Thursdays 9-12, 1-4; Fridays 9-12; Sunday evenings 6-9

CO301B, Intermediate Composition: Writing in the Sciences, builds on the writing principles and processes practiced in CO150. CO301B focuses on studying the contexts in which writing for non-technical science material appears and practicing similar kinds of writing for those audiences (non-specialist academic and non-academic audiences). This course offers students multiple opportunities both to read and analyze varieties of science writing and to research, write, and revise their own science writing on appropriate topics. Students will complete a carefully sequenced series of assignments of text analysis at the beginning of the semester and write original work, often based on library and field research, in the second half of the semester.

Required text: Science and Technology Today: Readings for Writers, Nancy MacKenzie, St. Martin's Press.

Course Objectives:

1. I don't accept late papers. Moreover, you need to bring a complete draft of the paper to the scheduled workshop or you lose a significant percentage of the portfolio grade.

2. Attendance: Your attendance for scheduled class meetings is crucial in this course because we will cover key issues on the days we meet. Moreover, 10% of your grade depends on participation when we meet in class and on completing assigned tasks every day even when we don't meet. The workload is heavy, and falling behind can be disastrous. Look ahead to the schedule for portfolio 2. If you need more structured work time to get such a large project done, please speak to me about alternative ways to approach this portfolio.

3. Drafts-in-progress: From time to time I will ask that you submit a draft-in-progress for me to comment on. When I read these drafts, I suggest possible revisions for the most striking features; I do not comment on every possible flaw in a paper. Please remember that you can take or leave my comments, but you must also revise for other features that I may not have noted. I will be happy to comment on as many drafts of papers for this class as you want to give me. Send me the draft by e mail or drop it off with me, and I will return it to you with comments within two days. (Note: My students find this one of the best ways to improve their writing during the semester.)

4. Responsibility: Even though I will comment on drafts and we will have regular workshops during which your classmates will also comment on your papers, remember that you are in control of your writing. You know what you want to communicate in a given paper.

5. Portfolio grading: You will be graded on two portfolios of completed work due on the dates specified on the attached assignment syllabus. For Portfolio 1 you may choose among the text analysis assignments from the first 6 weeks of the semester. Portfolio 2 will include at least 15 pages of finished polished original work (2 or 3 pieces, your choice). You can find much more detail about each portfolio on our class Web page.

6. Daily writing: In addition to the portfolios, I assign daily reading and writing. We'll review how to send your assignments to me electronically, but you may also print out this writing and turn it in on paper. I keep track of DAILY writing on the day it's due, so being late means you probably won't get credit.

7. Drafts: Please keep all drafts (handwritten and computer generated) of your papers and clip them to the final copy in the portfolio.

8. Documentation: Much of your writing in this course will draw on outside sources, and so we will discuss appropriate documentation in detail as the semester progresses. Improper documentation--including all forms of plagiarism--merits an "F" for the portfolio.

9. When we meet as a class, we will generally work on the computers in our classroom. If you're not familiar with Windows, plan to run through the tutorials available in room 300 Eddy.

10. On days noted as "work days" in the syllabus, this classroom will be available for you to work here (to confer with me, to complete DAILY writing, to read and write e mail, to write on the web forum, to meet with your peer reviewers or group members). If you prefer to complete your work for CO301B at another time, you'll have to work upstairs in Eddy 300 or from another computer on or off campus. You will need an e mail account because I regularly send messages to the class. If you want to work on a Mac, it is your responsibility to save and transfer files in a format others can read in our classroom. See me for details. If the technology ever baffles you, I will be here to answer your questions and step you through a process of using each computer tool you need for the class.

Your final grade will be determined as follows:

Portfolio 1 - 35%
Portfolio 2 - 55%
Participation - 10%