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Unformatted text preview: GE 70A Writing Assignment guidelines Topic and Purpose. As we have discussed in this class, scientists ask questions in order to test particular theories about phenomena within the natural world. However, no theory can ever be proven true once and for all. Science is constantly revising and reformulating our knowledge about the universe, and different scientists sometimes arrive at different conclusions about the same phenomenon. These differing opinions are evaluated through the peer-review and publication process. Each published paper is a microcosm of the scientific method. A question is asked; a hypothesis is made about the answer to that question; experiments and/or data collection are performed to answer the question; and a conclusion is drawn that may lead to more research. In addition a scientific paper puts both the question and the findings within the larger context of the field itself. For example, the paper might propose an entirely new theory to explain a known phenomenon, or may be describing some new finding, or may prove that an existing theory is correct. Being able to find papers, and read them with these objectives in mind is a key skill of scientists. These kinds of critical thinking skills will help you in any academic field you might pursue. Throughout this quarter you will be putting together a tool box for evaluating scientific papers on your own, a skill which will be valuable for next quarters writing assignment, and the rest of your college career. This will be a step-by-step process, with each step building on the previous one. Some steps you will be guided through by your TA or library staff, some you will accomplish on your own. Schedule: Walk-thru a scientific paper/choose paper Oct. 17-21 (Week 4) Summary Activity due Thursday, Nov. 3 rd in lecture (week 6) Literature Review activity due Thursday, Nov. 3 rd in lecture (week 6) Rough Draft Due to grader November 11 th Peer Reviews in Lab Section November 14-18 th (week 8) MANDATORY MEETING WITH GRADER Week 8 Final paper due: Thursday, Dec. 1 st in lecture (week 10) [Note: in addition to turning in a hard copy of your final paper on Thursday, Dec. 1 st , you will also need to e-mail a copy to the instructor who will be grading your paper, as well as submit your paper to turnitin. You will be told which instructor will be grading your paper by week 6] Target audience. Your target reader is a layman, just like you were when you started this assignment. By the end of this quarter you should be able to explain your paper to any educated person, explaining not only the state of knowledge in this field, but how the paper you chose advances that knowledge. In addition, you should be able to evaluate mainstream media interpretations of the findings. One way to approach the paper is as if you were writing a paper on the scientific method -- e.g., to explain the scientific method to an educated friend, and using the article you chose as an example/case study. You could also evaluate how well the study employed the scientific method....
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- Spring '09