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Sample Proposal: Writing

College of Natural Sciences

Please direct all questions about the flag proposal process to the Center for the Core Curriculum.

CH 153K: Physical Chemistry Laboratory

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

What substantial writing projects will your students complete during the course?

Students write 7 extensive (10-15 page) laboratory reports. These reports account for approximately 75% of their semester grade. The purpose of this level of emphasis is to train them in data analysis and technical writing. Another 20% is from written formal error analyses of their data. As this is often one of the last courses our students take, the last 5% will be based on a written career ‘plan’ that will be discussed with either the TA or me.

What kinds of feedback will students receive from the instructor, and what opportunities will they be given to revise their writing?

Instructors/TAs give extensive comments on each report, hopefully before the next is due, but certainly before the second following report. Finally, for the last report, students may turn in a draft and get extensive feedback and rewrite it before turning it in for a grade. Course policy is for heavy commenting throughout, but the amount of points taken off for these comments will be lighter initially and progressively getting more rigorous, encouraging students to pay attention to early comments and improve their writing.

What amount of the final course grade will come from the written work (minimum one-third for a three-hour course)?

100% for a one hour course: 75% from written lab reports 20% from written error analysis assignments (4 @ 5% each) 5% from written professional goals/discussion with TA or Lab Director.

What opportunities will students have to read each other’s work and offer constructive criticism?

For the final report, for which a draft can be turned in for instructor feedback, students will also exchange the draft to get that feedback as well. This will help them improve their papers two ways: they get another source of feedback, and will see another paper to give them ideas for new avenues to include.

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