Writing in the Major
A core part of the STIA major is learning how to translate science to non-science decision-making. Students must learn to think critically and communicate what they learn effectively. This requires being able to formulate meaningful questions, find information that will inform questions, evaluate information sources, effectively synthesize and analyze information, and present findings to varied audiences.
STIA students are expected to gain experience in discussion and debate, oral presentation, and, of course, advanced level writing. The STIA major seeks to help students build these communication competencies throughout the curriculum. There are three primary components of the major that focus specifically on writing:
- All STIA majors are required to take STIA-305: Intro to Science and Technology in the Global Arena. By taking this gateway course, students move beyond the fundamentals of academic writing gained in SFS core courses and make progress in evaluating primary and secondary sources and communicating science to non-scientists.
- All STIA elective classes are expected to have at least one written assignment. Most classes have multiple writing assignments ranging from literature reviews to research proposals and full research papers to policy briefs, professional blogs and opinion pieces.
- All STIA majors are required to complete either a STIA Senior Seminar or the STIA Honors Thesis Seminar. By completing this course, students are expected to generate original research questions, devise plans to test and prove their findings and present a convincing hypothesis to a diverse audience through a significant writing assignment or the equivalent.