Public Health Science, Policy, & Ethics

Program for Writing and Rhetoric, University of Colorado  •  Summer 2017

This interdisciplinary course teaches conventions of academic research and writing by examining current domestic and international public and environmental health hazards—which challenge students to engage difficult texts in the health sciences, environmental policy, environmental law, and social justice. Some of the issue-areas we will explore include distracted driving, pesticides in foods, Bisphenol A (BPA) in plastics, growth hormones (rGBH) in dairy products, infectious diseases and emerging pandemics, antibiotic resistance, leaded gasoline emissions, and underground storage tanks. Through diverse course readings, independent research, and various writing assignments, students will critically evaluate contemporary scholarship on these issue-areas, and they will learn to identify, critique, and apply different conventions of research and writing that define this interdisciplinary body of literature (as well as those conventions that define scholarship in their particular majors). Finally, in having students apply lessons of rhetorical analysis learned in the classroom to real world states of affairs and complex policy problems, this course strives to motivate students to think critically about the role that science should have in creating public health policy, the influence of corporate special interests on the decision-making process, and the responsibilities citizens have to safeguard the public against potential health hazards.


•  Revised Course Syllabus
Course Readings

Upload papers at our course dropbox

•  Paper 1: Discipline-Specific Conventions of Research and Writing
Paper 2: Literature Review
•  Paper 3: Research Paper


•  Rules of Citation: How to Avoid Plagiarism
Rules of Grammar 1: Rhetorical Grammar, Sentence Components, Spelling, and Punctuation
•  Rules of Grammar 2: Concision, Parallelism, and Precision
•  Working List of Principles of Good Writing
•  Samples of Student Writing