Being a chemist. Oops, science is POWERFUL!

ENGL 390, 390H, and (sometimes) 398V  Class Journal


Monday; sorry!

I have strep!  I am glad I did not shed bacteria to our classroom and possibly to you. Will be there on Wednesday. Try to have your documents done and we can print in class.  I will answer questions BUT I ask you to work through the guides below about:

  • designing your document
  • revising your text of the review based on class work AND my comments.

Here is a google doc on what we would have done today, to polish your design.  Much more efficient to show rather than tell, but sometimes what we have are words.

I will try to answer questions as the antibiotics kick in.  

See you on Wednesday.


Posted on Monday, November 13, 2017 at 07:21PM by Registered CommenterMarybeth Shea | CommentsPost a Comment

Designing the review: looks and formatting and platform

In class this week and next, we will re-design the review, allowing for revision opportunities. This is what we aim at (note: not an exemplar but a flawed piece for discussion. Here is a checklist for what needs to happen in this assignment.

You will need three or four images for Friday; bring them as jpgs or png files.  Candidates?

  • journal cover 
  • web logo from journal site
  • images of lead authors (NEED evidence of permission)
  • visuals from the articles
  • quotes from article designed into a pull quote
  • useful figure from government or open access website

Designed, revised article review due on  ....TBD.

We also need to think about directions (due end of next week, TBD).  We will look at some examples to get you started.

Cougar (model)

Fencing (pictures important BUT....)

Bones of the Dead (model)


Lesson on commas! Video article (five types) from Mental Floss. Or access the 1 1/2 minute piece on YouTube.



Posted on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 06:53AM by Registered CommenterMarybeth Shea | CommentsPost a Comment

Wrapping up the class

Before Thanksgiving, we need to work and complete two assignments that rely on document design.  Some of the i- class work will overlap:

  • place the review into a designed MS Word doc with visuals and hyperlinks (bring your digital text of this assignment to class or have available in a google doc or some sort of access)
  • Write a set of directions for a procedure (Typically 1-3 pages of designed information.

We also need to start the small steps toward a final project.  I am revising the schedule to increase the number of peer review days.  Will post on Wednesday.  However, the final project and folder is due Monday, December 18 at noon.  I will hold office hours every day during finals so you may consult with me about your work.

You will need to propose your final project by next Wednesday, November 15.  Email me with questions.  Let's look at what people did last year. Next up is an annotated bibliography: Due on Tuesday before Thanksgiving, Nov 21.  Seven sources, with notes on how you will use the information.

Posted on Monday, November 6, 2017 at 08:36AM by Registered CommenterMarybeth Shea | CommentsPost a Comment

Guidance tip sheet

for article review work here in Google Doc. Build a checklist in this Google sheet here.

Think about how the human voice (first person and second person voice) can both bind your document into coherence and also transition through the complex volume of material:

  • Before we look at Guerro's work, let's review a few key definitions....
  • Now, let's turn to selected findings in this review article...
  • I have selected four important elements in Kaspari's work for your consideration...
  • I suggest for further reading...

Also, think about counting out, as a transition element:

  • Three aspects of Kirschenbaum's research are important for orthopedic surgeons:
  • First,
  • Next,
  • Second,
  • Finally. . .

And, what does this remind you of?  We will work through this handout on the "witch topic.".



Posted on Monday, October 30, 2017 at 06:30AM by Registered CommenterMarybeth Shea | CommentsPost a Comment

Opening and closing a document (related strategies!)

Articles have beginnings, middles, and ends. Think Lemon-shaped. Interestingly, beginnings and ends have similarlties. We have a number of options; look at these seven strategies for opening. Some rough thoughts about formality and audience type:

News article openings are good for the lay audience.  Why?  Several strategies:

  • highly visual
  • interesting case
  • hook with tidbit of interesting information
  • topic (timely)

For technical audiences, open with

  • review of logos (detail of costs, population size, enormity of problem)
  • controversy
  • new application or breaking news

Let's look at this recent article in PloS One about writing scientific prose. In Science, two scientists talk about how they read articles. Ruben writes with a somewhat lighthearted approach while Pain responds to his piece with her approach. Read the comments.

We will talk about what type of article you have:  research article, literature review, meta-analysis, proof, proof-of-concept, specialized application, method, opinion or memoir.

Here is the "bible" of writing (and reading) scientific prose:  Mayfield. Now, let's look/review at the basic parts of the IMRAD article using this guide.

(In-class, brief discussion about the ETHOS paragraph.  Think platform or journal as carrying the ethos of peer review. USE ITALICS! Do NOT put the long title of this article in your paragraph.)

Finally, little mini lesson on dangling modifiers (while walking down the street a piano fell on me) from former student Hannah S circa 2008.

Piano. from Paul Rayment on Vimeo.


Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 07:36AM by Registered CommenterMarybeth Shea | CommentsPost a Comment