Environmental Health Science, Policy, & Ethics

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

This interdisciplinary course teaches conventions of academic research and writing by examining current domestic and global 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 pesticides in foods, Bisphenol A (BPA) in plastics, growth hormones (rGBH) in dairy products and antibiotic resistance, infectious diseases and emerging pandemics, and leaded gasoline emissions and underground storage tanks.  Through diverse course readings, independent research, and formative 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, analysis, and writing that define this interdisciplinary body of literature, as well as the scholarship in their particular majors.  Finally, in having students apply lessons of rhetorical analysis learned in the classroom to real-world complex policy problems, this course strives to motivate students to think critically about the role that science should have in creating health policy, the influence of corporate special interests on the decision-making process, and the responsibilities citizens have to protect the public against potential health hazards.


•  Course Syllabus: 3030-020 (Mon/Wed)
•  Course Syllabus: 3030-033 and 3030-036 (Tues/Thurs)
Course Readings
Student Email Addresses
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•  Paper 1: Discipline-Specific Conventions of Research and Writing
Paper 2: Literature Review
•  Paper 3: Outline
•  Paper 4: Research Project


•  Peer-Reviewed and Credible Non-Peer-Reviewed Sources
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
•  Samples of Student Writing