• What is a site partner?
  • Finding a site partner
  • Communicating with your site partner
  • Timelines and organizations
  • What constitutes proper attire and manners when working with site partners?
  • Tips for writing to non-scientific audiences

    Many of the students who come into CO301B have more than just the core freshmen biology courses. Most of you are junior or senior science majors who are pursuing careers in science. Many of your site partners will not expect you to be writing to a scientific audience; instead, you will often be writing to readers who do not have a science background. These readers frequently still need and/or want to be informed on subjects involving science, but you will write differently than in science classes.

    One of the biggest challenges in this course will be writing pieces about scientific topics for audiences that do not necessarily have a scientific background. Writing a text that is fitting and appropriate to your "target audience" will be your portfolio's major goal.

    Here are some tips when thinking about writing for non-scientific readers:

    • Understand your audience’s background knowledge.

    • Understand what information your readers want and need to know:

      • Including too much extraneous detail in your writing is a common pitfall when addressing a non-scientific audience.

      • Do not bore and confuse your audience with detail that does not directly pertain to your goals or with wordy sections that take away from the clarity of your piece.

    • Have a clear message.

    • Be consistent with your style.

    • Include a definition when using technical terms.

    • Make it interesting; keep your readers' attention.

      • You are responsible for keeping the reader engaged through your entire text. Read through the text for places where you move too slowly or put too much technicality for the purpose of the paper.

    • Have a person with a non-scientific background read your document and give you feedback on places they were confused by your lack of explanation.

    • If explaining a complex subject, find a good way to explain the subject that will make the writing understandable (metaphor, relating it to something else, etc.).

    • Although your reader is not necessarily a science expert, do not write in a condescending manner or over-simplify your topic. Find a balance between simplicity and detail.

  • How to conduct yourself in peer reviews