Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures
Medical and Science Writing Class
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PW to Offer Medical and Science Writing Special Topics Course

Researched and written by Jay Hull.

For those interested in learning about writing for medical and scientific fields, the special topics course “Medical Rhetoric and Science Writing” (WRA 491-002) will be co-taught by Prof. Bill Hart-Davidson and Maria Novotny, a doctoral student in the Rhetoric and Writing program, in the spring 2016 semester. “Writing is a central part of medicine and actually influences a lot of things, [such as] how people think about their bodies and topics of health,” says Novotny.

The course will be structured around three units: the genre of medical and science writing; the rhetorical construction of medicine and science; and medical narratives. It will cover a broad range of purposes, styles, and media used in medical professions. Students will work on projects researching a particular medical field, studying the use of social media in medical professions, and constructing multimodal personal narratives, as well as creating a final project that can be used as a professional and portfolio piece. Novotny says, “I want students to understand the power behind how we understand our bodies and how we understand health and the ways we talk about and perceive science.”

Novotny suggests the course is good fit for PWers who might “want to work for JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), or a medical or science textbook company, or are interested in careers in the medical humanities.” The course is also open to students in other majors, such as nursing, pre-med, and fisheries and wildlife, who want to take a class that’s focused on writing but through a medical or scientific perspective.

 If you are interested in taking “Medical Rhetoric and Science Writing” (WRA 491-002) this spring, enroll now or meet with your adviser to get more information.

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