07 January 2015



Section: 010, Day/Time: MWF / 12:00 PM - 12:50 PM, Room: STAD 112
Section: 013, Day/Time: MWF / 01:00 PM - 1:50 PM, Room: RAMY N1B31
Section: 015, Day/Time: MWF / 02:00 PM - 2:50 PM, Room: ECON 16

Instructor: Joshua Ware, Ph.D.
Email: joshua.ware@colorado.edu
Office: 1B30-B, Environmental Design
Office Phone: 303-735-4673
Office Hours: MW, 10:00am-11:45am


For all three sections of WRTG 3030, we will explore 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.


Texts and Materials:

While we will not be using a specific textbook for this course, there will be a substantial amount of reading that occurs throughout the semester. The articles you'll read will be either PDF files that I'll upload to Google Drive/Docs or found online. To this end, you will need a device that enables you to access material online and a Google Docs account (affiliated with your CU-Boulder email address). On days that we discuss these articles, you must have a copy with you during our class; whether that copy be digital or paper-based, does not matter. But, if you don't have a laptop or tablet, etc., you must print a copy out for class. Likewise, we will engage in freewriting and other invention exercises in class. Therefore, please purchase a composition notebook of some sort so that you have a dedicated space to archive all your writing. Alternatively, you can, again, type these assignments on a digital device.


For this course, you will have five major assignments that will comprise your grade. I have listed all of these assignments below with a brief description. Throughout the semester, I will provide you with detailed assignment descriptions at the beginning of each project cycle; the more detailed descriptions will outline the project specifics in order to guide you more thoroughly. In addition to the descriptions, I've include points totals and page counts (drafts included) for each assignment.

Resume/Cover Letter (20 points, 4 pages): You will create a professional resume that meets the specifications of your particular field; likewise, you will compose a cover letter for a internship or an entry-level job opening for which you could conceivably (or will) apply.

Proposal (15 points, 6 pages): Another important aspect of working in the sciences is creating proposals for funding or pitching projects and research plans, etc. To this end, you will be asked to follow "real world" guidelines and styles for creating and presenting a proposals.

Annotated Bibliography (15 points, 8 pages):

"Radiolab" Audio Essay (25 points, 15 pages): Mainstream audiences and popular culture engage the sciences in a drastically different manner than professionals in a specific field. As burgeoning professionals in the sciences, how can you present your work and interests to those without an in-depth knowledge of your discourse? Radiolab, a popular science-based program on National Public Radio (NPR) has discovered an interesting and entertaining way to do so. For this assignment, then, you will be required to work as a group in order to create an audio essay one a topic that would be apropos for this program.

"TEDTalk" Video Essay (25 points, 15 pages): Another popular forum that brings science-related subject matter to the masses are TED Talks, sponsored by the organization TED. Unlike the Radiolab assignment, though, your TED Talk assignment will require you to work as a group in order to create a video talk/essay on a specific topic that would work within the current TED Talk model.


A = 100-94A- = 93-90B+ = 89-87B = 86-84B- = 83-80C+ = 79-77
C = 76-74C- = 73-70D+ = 69-67D = 66-64D- = 63-60F = 59-0


You can choose not to come to five class sessions during the course of the semester with no affect to your grade. For each absence after your fifth, your final grade will be docked one letter grade. For example, if you miss four class sessions during the semester and your final grade is an A-, you will receive a B-. I understand that people get sick or have pressing needs that need to be attended to, so use your absences wisely. If you are absent and miss in-class work or fail to turn in an assignment, you will lose those points. Finally, it is your responsibility to find out what you missed from one of your peers (i.e. another student).

Late Assignments:

I do not accept late assignments. If, for some reason, a cataclysmic event occurs that does not enable you to turn in your assignment on time, you can ask for an extension. But the granting of an extension will only happen in extremely rare circumstances; likewise, the decision on whether or not I grant you an extension is dependent entirely upon my discretion and opinion. Such a decision is not up for debate or arbitration with a third-party. Basically, operate under the mindset that late assignments will not be accepted.

Writing Center:

If you want additional help with your writing, the Writing Center in Norlin Library is a great place to go to talk about ideas, improve your thesis or essay organization, or just generally work on your writing skills. Check the Writing Center website for more information about hours and services, or request an appointment online at:



In addition to my own goals and objectives, which I have stated above, the PWR has its own goals and objectives that it wants students to achieve in WRTG 3030. I have listed these requirements below so you are aware of these additional, program-level demands.

Critical Thinking and Its Written Application

As writers and readers, students will:

-See writing as a form of personal engagement, demanding an awareness of the inherent power of language and its ability to bring about change.
-Pose and shape a question at issue.
-Locate and use resources when necessary for exploring a line of inquiry.
-Critically evaluate information sources for credibility, validity, timeliness, and relevance.
-Draw inferences from a body of evidence.
-Distinguish description from analysis and argument.
-Distinguish flawed from sound reasoning, and be able to respond to and challenge claims.
-Recognize a thesis, and understand the organic relationship between thesis and support in an essay.
-As writers, structure and develop points of argument in a coherent order to build a case; as readers, recognize this structure and development within texts.
-Critique one’s own works in progress and those of others.
-Recognize that academic and public writing is dialogic, addresses an audience, and anticipates the thinking, the questions, and the possible objections of readers.

The Writing Process

As writers, students will:

-Understand writing as an ongoing process that requires multiple drafts and various strategies for developing, revising and editing texts.
-Understand that revision is informed by critical dialogue.
-See the critical analysis of others’ work as relevant to one’s own writing.

Rhetorical Situation

Students will:

-Exercise rhetorical skills: frame issues, define and defend theses, invent and arrange appeals, answer counterarguments, and contextualize conclusions.
-Value writing as a collaborative dialogue between authors and audiences, critics, and colleagues.
-Make decisions about form, argumentation, and style based on the expectations of different audiences.
-Recognize that a voice or style appropriate to one discipline or rhetorical context might be less appropriate for another.
-Develop "topic"-specific language that is appropriate for the defined audience while also intelligible to a non-expert audience.

Mechanics and Style

Students will:

-Convey meaning through concise, precise, highly readable language.
-Apply the basics of grammar, sentence-structure, and other mechanics integral to analytical and persuasive writing.
-Develop skills in proofreading.
-Use voice, style, and diction appropriate to the discipline or rhetorical context.
-Use paragraph structure and transitional devices to aid the reader in following even a complex train of thought.

This set of goals expresses the PWR’s commitment to preparing you for the kinds of reading and writing you will perform in your other classes. They also fulfill the course criteria given to all state institutions by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, the governmental body that contributes to the policies for college education in Colorado. In other words, this writing class is not just about what your writing teacher here at CU thinks is important. It’s about deepening your skills in rhetorical knowledge, writing processes, and language conventions so that you can write effectively for a variety of audiences in a variety of situations—both inside and outside the classroom.


Just as both the PWR and I have our own course policies, goals, and objectives, so too does the university. Below are several university statements and accompanying URLs that will direct you to additional information.


If you qualify for accommodations because of a disability, please submit to me a letter from Disability Services in a timely manner so that your needs can be addressed. Disability Services determines accommodations based on documented disabilities. Contact: 303-492-8671, Center for Community N200, and http://www.colorado.edu/disabilityservices. If you have a temporary medical condition or injury, see the guidelines at http://www.colorado.edu/disabilityservices/go.cgi?select=temporary.html. Religious Observances* Campus policy regarding religious observances requires that faculty make every effort to deal reasonably and fairly with all students who, because of religious obligations, have conflicts with scheduled exams, assignments or required attendance. In this class, I ask that you contact me at least one week ahead of the date(s) that you will be absent so that we can discuss any assignments/class material that you will miss. See full details at:


Classroom Behavior:

Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. Those who fail to adhere to such behavioral standards may be subject to discipline. Professional courtesy and sensitivity are especially important with respect to individuals and topics dealing with differences of race, color, culture, religion, creed, politics, veteran's status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and gender expression, age, disability, and nationalities. Class rosters are provided to the instructor with the student's legal name. I will gladly honor your request to address you by an alternate name or gender pronoun. Please advise me of this preference early in the semester so that I may make appropriate changes to my records. See policies at:



Discrimination and Harassment:

The University of Colorado at Boulder Discrimination and Harassment Policy and Procedures, the University of Colorado Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures, and the University of Colorado Conflict of Interest in Cases of Amorous Relationships policy apply to all students, staff, and faculty. Any student, staff, or faculty member who believes s/he has been the subject of sexual harassment or discrimination or harassment based upon race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status should contact the Office of Discrimination and Harassment (ODH) at 303-492-2127 or the Office of Student Conduct (OSC) at 303-492-5550. Information about the ODH, the above referenced policies, and the campus resources available to assist individuals regarding discrimination or harassment can be obtained at:


Honor Code:

All students of the University of Colorado at Boulder are responsible for knowing and adhering to the academic integrity policy of this institution. Violations of this policy may include: cheating, plagiarism, aid of academic dishonesty, fabrication, lying, bribery, and threatening behavior. All incidents of academic misconduct shall be reported to the Honor Code Council (honor@colorado.edu; 303-735-2273). Students who are found to be in violation of the academic integrity policy will be subject to both academic sanctions from the faculty member and non-academic sanctions (including but not limited to university probation, suspension, or expulsion). Other information on the Honor Code can be found at:




What follows is a tentative schedule for our class sessions this semester. Please prepare accordingly, but be aware that details are subject to change based upon how the semester proceeds.

Monday: 12 Jansyllabus and introductions
Wednesday: 14 Janintroductions (continued) and discussion
Friday: 16 Jandiscussion
Monday: 19 JanOFF MLK
Wednesday: 21 JanResume Discussion
Friday: 23 JanResume Workshop
Monday: 26 JanResume Workshop
Wednesday: 28 JanResume Peer-Review
Friday: 31 JanCover Letter Discussion / Resume Due
Monday: 02 FebCover Letter Workshop
Wednesday: 04 FebCANCELLED CLASS
Friday: 06 FebCover Letter Workshop
Monday: 09 FebCover Letter Peer-Review
Wednesday: 11 FebResearch Proposal Guidelines / Cover Letter Due
Friday: 13 FebStudent Presentations
Monday: 16 FebStudent Presentations
Wednesday: 18 FebStudent Presentations
Friday: 20 FebFirst Group Meeting
Monday: 23 FebSecond Group Meeting
Wednesday: 25 FebThird Group Meeting
Friday: 27 FebGroup Conferences
Monday: 02 MarGroup Conferences
Wednesday: 04 MarGroup Conferences
Friday: 06 MarResearch Proposal Due / Annotated Bibliography Guidelines
Monday: 09 MarTEDTalk Guidelines / video-editing tutorial
Wednesday: 11 MarMLA citation methods 
Friday: 13 Mar
Monday: 16 Mar
Wednesday: 18 Mar
Friday: 20 MarAnnotated Bibliography Due
Monday: 23 MarOFF Spring Break
Wednesday: 25 MarOFF Spring Break
Friday: 27 MarOFF Spring Break
Monday: 30 Mar
Wednesday: 01 Apr
Friday: 03 Apr
Monday: 06 AprTEDTalk Video Essays Due / RadioLab Guidlines
Wednesday: 08 Apr
Friday: 10 AprTBD
Monday: 13 AprTBD
Wednesday: 15 AprTBD
Friday: 17 Apr
Monday: 20 AprTBD
Wednesday: 22 AprTBD
Friday: 24 AprTBD
Monday: 27 AprTBD
Wednesday: 29 AprTBD
Friday: 01 MayRadioLab Podcase Due