Insights from Georgetown Faculty
During the 2019-2020 academic year, as part of an Enhancing and Transforming the Core grant, Writing faculty worked with professors and students in the sciences to develop teaching strategies and materials to help students with writing in those fields. In Chemistry, Associate Teaching Professor Milena Shahu, Biochemistry major Alan Balu, and Biology major Mahesh Kumar developed a resource to help students learn how to write good lab reports.
This resource was used in General Chemistry Lab II for Majors in Spring (~20 students) and General Chemistry I and II Labs for Non-majors in Summer (~60 students). Both students and teaching assistants found that this resource was a helpful guide on writing a lab report. Colleagues have also responded positively. As a result, the guide will be used this Fall by faculty in General Chemistry I Lab for Majors (~30 students) and General Chemistry I Lab for Non-Majors (~300 students).
Students the SFS Cultural and Politics Program developed this guide for students in the major, drawing on their experiences with writing and interviews with faculty
Developed by three faculty members in the Human Science department in NHS, this guide, published in the journal Advances in Physiology Education, offers advice on writing style for science courses and scientific publications
Biology professor Manus Patten explains how an open lab session, in which students work on scientific reports and consult with faculty, TAs, and each other, fosters deeper understanding of scientific thinking.
Associate Teaching Professor David Lipscomb has produced these short videos to help students with revising their writing for flow and clarity.
STIA professor Mark Giordano explains why he uses a short, iterative research framing assignment rather than a full research paper to help his students learn to conceptualize and present interdisciplinary research
History professor Katie Benton-Cohen’s assignment for History students asks them to pay attention to how their perspective shapes their response to historical sources and events and to think about how historians approach evidence.
Lab reports serve specific functions for the sciences, and they follow an established format. Chemistry professor Milena Shahu explains the functions of lab reports and the guidelines she provides to Chemistry students.
In the Gateway course in East Asian Languages and Cultures, Professor Philip Kafalas uses a series of assignments to help students become critical readers of English-language scholarship in the field, and to apply those same critical tools to their own writing.
American Studies Program Professor Erika B. Seamon gives an overview in which she articulates some of the key pedagogical approaches she uses to help students build skills and practice making analytical arguments in their writing.
In consultation with colleagues and students, Professor Laurie King developed this guide to writing in Anthropology.