Assignment: Extended Writing 1

Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
Friday, Oct 13, 2017 by 5pm
You are expected to submit your own writing. If you use outside resources (including our course texts) you must cite those sources.


For our first extended writing assignment, you are responsible for identifying and expanding on a key idea in the course material so far. You could focus on the societal implications of a particular scientific debate, the patterns you see in science deniers, the “modes” of discovery, or any other topic you believe is relevant to our course. We will spend a significant amount of class time thinking about topic and thesis, but you should keep the following criteria in mind, based loosely on Erik Simpson’s Five Ways of Looking at a Thesis:

  1. Your paper must offer some new, non-obvious insight.
  2. Your paper must follow a logical structure without abrupt changes in topic.
  3. Your paper must explain why your insight is important.
  4. Your paper should offer insight that is specific to the question(s) you are considering; the conclusions should not be so general or vague as to be universally applicable.
  5. Your paper must be focused; every sentence you write and every example you draw on should be relevant to your insight.

This paper is an opportunity for you to explore an idea in the class in much greater depth than we have seen so far. As such, I expect that you will rely on a significant number of outside sources to support your writing. Resist the temptation to submit a “book report” about your chosen topic; your job is not to summarize points from others’ writing, but to offer your own interpretation or insight into an issue. That may require some (minimal) summarization, but keep your writing focused on the point you are trying to make.


Your final written work should be at least four, but no more than six pages of text in an 11pt serif font (e.g. Times New Roman) with 1.5 line spacing and one inch margins. You should include a title (be creative), your name, and the subtitle “Extended Writing 1” on the first page of your writing. Do not forget to include your name on the paper.

As with all work for this course, you are required to cite your sources. You may use the course texts, but I encourage you to find additional sources. Use MLA citations for this paper. Your bibliography should generally contain at least five sources, and does not count toward the page limit. If you have questions about how or whether to cite a source, please contact me or make an appointment during office hours.

Submitting Your Work

You only need to submit an electronic version of your writing. Plase email it to me with the subject [TUT 100] Extended Writing 1. Include your writing as an attachment, or link to a Sharepoint or Google document that gives me permission to provide comments on your writing. I must receive your email before 5pm on the due date.