As a linked course to BIOL 180, Biological Science, ENGL 199C
of the Interdisciplinary Writing Program in the Department of English
teaches you to approach biological knowledge by its textuality. The goal
of this course is to make it explicit that texts do not only contain knowledge,
but are a part of knowledge. In other words, knowledge production includes
text production, such as scientific publications. Furthermore, only through
its texts can knowledge specify to whom it is intelligible; for instance,
scientific publications are comprehensible to scientists but not to general
public, and textbooks are written for students with different level of
knowledge. Acquiring knowledge requires comprehending its texts, and this
comprehension involves vocabulary, concepts, and terms, genre-specific
syntax, as well as the logic of hypothetical syllogisms and the disciplinary
methodology of experimental design and procedure.
The theme of the course is the research on domestication. The scaffolding has two main parts: on one hand, you are trained to analyze the research papers according to their hypothetical syllogism, research methods, data collections, and the validity of their conclusions. On the other hand, you learn the skills of textual analysis by comparison research and popularization papers in domestication so that you are able to characterize a piece of text and indicate to whom the text is comprehensible. Moreover, you are also introduced to scholarly arguments with respect to the differences of scientific publication and its popularization. In doing so, you acquire the skills to produce the kind of clear and precise writing required in science, and more importantly, you understand why and how writing in science differs from that directed to general readers and purposes of reading.