Title

Using Collaboration Between English and Biology to Teach Scientific Writing and Communication

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of College Science Teaching

Volume

44

Issue

2

Publisher

ERIC

Publication Date

11-1-2014

First Page

31

Last Page

39

Abstract

Writing has an important role in science education and practice. Emphasizing the interdisciplinary collaboration between English rhetoric studies and biology, seemingly disparate disciplines, we describe a model for a scientific writing and communication course. The goals of the course were to prepare students for science-oriented careers, as well as for professional and graduate schools, by teaching the various conventions of science communication and writing. Toward these aims we assigned a research proposal, the major assignment of the course, patterned after the National Science Foundation's Graduate Student Research Fellowship application. For this assignment we encouraged students to research topics in their preferred fields. They continued engaging their chosen topics of interest through other innovative assignments, which spanned multiple communication genres: a rhetorical analysis, a popular science article, a science poster analysis, and other related projects. We incorporated a peer-review element into each assignment to emphasize revision and collaborative learning. The students acknowledged our collaboration and the course as beneficial to their academic and future professional careers.

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