06 June 2015

WRTG 3030: Writing on Science Society

This blog contains all the course content for Joshua Ware's course WRTG 3030: Writing on Science and Society for the Program of Writing and Rhetoric at University of Colorado-Boulder during the Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 semesters.

As the course syllabus states:
WRTG 3030 explores the intersection of science and society as it pertains to composition. To this end, we will examine--both through writing and discussion--the manner in which science and society interact with one another. How do these concepts or entities, broadly speaking, inform one another? Conversely, how do they react or challenge one another? When answering these questions, we will want to pay attention both to the instances wherein science and society echo, overlap, or affirm each other, as well as those instances in which they seem to contradict, undercut, or negate one another. Through these investigations, it is my hope that we will be able to come to a realization of the complex relationship between the two through critical thought and an array of writing processes, practices, and projects. 
In order to accomplish these goals, we will compose a variety of documents and texts, employing multimodal strategies that demonstrate a sensitivity to genre and, therefore, context. A practical definition of multimodal is any visual element used to supplement a text in some purposeful way; examples of supplemental elements are audio, video, photographs, drawings, etc. To further clarify the first sentence of this paragraph, Knowing Words, the Program of Writing and Rhetoric's official guide book to First-Year Writing courses, defines genre as the manner in which we "group texts by their characteristics" and name them; as such, genre is "a category" of texts that have "structures that are instantly recognizable" and "tell the audience what is coming." Finally, much of our writing and revision (and all of our discussions) will be collaborative in nature, highlighting the communal nature of of both science and society. 
Please explore this website for more information.

18 May 2015

UPDATE: 18 MAY 2015

For the final projects of all three sections of WRTG 3030: Writing on Science and Society (Spring 2015), students formed into small group in order to create video-essays in the style of TEDTalks. Embedded in this post are each groups' final version of their projects. More information regarding each video can be found on the individual YouTube pages:


What Happens When the Government Funds Controversies

The Next Giant Leap

Tripping Through Time

Fracking and Water Contamination

Whose Water Is It Anyway?

The Echoes of Apollo


How Quantum Computers will Change the World

3D Prothetics

Music, Anticipation, and Preference

From Wooden Peg Legs to Robotic Monkeys

Privacy in the Techonolgy Era

Gene Doping


Sport Concussions: The Underlying Dangers of Competition

Asteroid Mining

Why You're [Also] Probably Not Doing Enough About Internet Security

Nanotechnology in Environmental Cleanup

Smart Prosthetics and the Future of Brain-Computer Interfaces

HIV and Personalized Gene Therapies: The Future of Medicine

27 April 2015

UPDATE: 27 APR 201


To alleviate log jams and security issues related to simultaneous uploads for our course YouTube channel, I'm creating an upload schedule for all three sections of WRTG 3030. Each group will be given a two hour window. If you have not completed your upload by the end of your slot, you will need to discontinue the process in order for the next group to proceed. In other words, do NOT wait until the last half hour of your allotted time frame to begin the process.  The schedule is as follows:
Tuesday, 05 May
10:00am - 12:00pm: Alex, Chris, Shannon
12:00pm - 2:00pm: Adian, Victoria, Wyatt 
2:00pm - 4:00pm: Beckett, Ryan, Shalini
4:00pm - 6:00pm: Andrea, Kevin, Peyman
Wednesday, 06 May
8:00am - 10:00am: Austin, Brendan, Chrissy J, Nate Dogg
10:00am - 12:00pm: Ben, Dominic, Thomas
12:00pm - 2:00pm: Devon, Katherine, Owen
2:00pm - 4:00pm: Christina, Olivia, Veronica
4:00pm - 6:00pm: James, Kayla, Marta 
:00pm - 8:00pm: Charlie, Grant, Nina
8:00pm - 10:00pm: Daniel, Jennifer, Michelle
Thursday, 07 May
8:00am - 10:00am: Dobis P.R., Forrest, Odom 
10:00am - 12:00pm: Alec, Jared, Jason, Jeremy 
12:00pm - 2:00pm: Andrew, Craig, Sam
2:00pm - 4:00pm: Clayton, Daniel, Joshua 
4:00pm - 6:00pm: Conner, Emma, Thuy
6:00pm - 8:00pm: Alex, Becky, Christian, Jack 
8:00pm - 10:00pm: Casey, Taggert, Zeyu
I based the above schedule upon the order in which we critiqued your rough drafts. To this end, those of you whose videos we commented on last will have a little bit more time to work your the final versions.

With regard to your upload, the title of the video should be the title of your presentation. Additionally, I would like you to include the following information in the information section:
WRTG 3030: Writing on Science and Society (Joshua Ware)
Section [insert section number here]

University of Colorado-Boulder

Spring Semester 2015
Title of Presentation
Group Members Names with project duties
Please be fair and honest with your assessments of "project duties." If a particular group member did not contribute to the script, for example, do not list him/her as a script writer. Possible position titles include: script writer, videographer, project manager, site coordinator, video editor, and presenter. Obviously, there could be other duties; moreover, multiple people could have attended to a particular task. For instance, if there were two video editors, please list their description as co-video editor.


I would like you to ask yourself the following questions while completing your final drafts:

Does the video open with a TEDTalk-like splash screen? Does the opening shot after the splash screen have the presenter's name and the presentation's title in the bottom right-hand corner?

Is the argument clear and concise? Does the argument follow a comprehensible and logical pattern? To this end, is the introduction relevant and engaging? Does it clearly outline the purpose of the presentation? Does the body support the argument? Does it contain relevant examples? Are the examples illustrative and concrete? Does the conclusion answer the "so what" question? Does the conclusion end the presentation on a compelling note?

Does the video employ close-up, mid-range, and wide-range shots? Are these different perspectives used appropriately?

Does the video employ different angles (i.e. upward, downward, and eye-level)? If so, are these different angles used appropriately?

Does the video employ pans and zooms? If so, are these techniques used with a rhetorical purpose and technically proficient?

Are the shots/cuts of the speaker 7-12 seconds in length? Are quick cuts employed? Are they smooth, in that they work with a) the rhetorical turns of the argument, b) the cadence and rhythm of the speaker's voice, c) retain continuity of the speaker's body position in space, and d) do not contain "black space"?

Are complex concepts or data visualized with cutaways? Are the cutaways held for long enough so the audience can understand the data or image? If the cutaways are stock photographs or videos, are they clear and comprehensible? Are they relevant and necessary? Is there, roughly speaking, one-cutaway-per-minute? If so, are the cutaways appropriately spaced throughout the presentation?

Does the speaker remain cognizant of their place in space? To this end, does the speaker remain relatively stationary, moving, primarily, in relationship to the rhetorical turns in the argument? Does the speaker use their hands appropriately, using them to highlight their argumentation or point? Otherwise, do they keep them above their waist? Is the speaker appropriately dressed? Does the speaker appear enthusiastic and engaged? Does the speaker have (or appear to have) the presentation memorized?

Is the lighting of an acceptable quality? Is the sound of an acceptable quality? Does the location appear professional?

Does the presentation conclude with credits?


The script for your TEDTalk video essay should be typed, single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font. You should use standard, one-inch margins.

In the top, right-hand corner, list all of your group members and the section number of your course. This header should be followed by a blank space, then a centered title (don't underline or place in boldface).

For the script proper, please use the paragraph form; each paragraph should correspond to a cut in the video. The one caveat to this format is for cutaways: if the speaker continues to talk over a cutaway, just place the words [cutaway] within the text to indicate this strategy.

Finally, you will need to conclude your script with a properly formatted works cited page.

Scripts should be emailed to me by Tuesday, 05 May at 10am. The documents should be attached to the email as a .doc or .docx file.