This Writing Intensive (WI) course is an honor college, sophomore-level Biochemistry Laboratory class with three meetings a week, one laboratory class (3 hrs), one lecture class (50 min), and one discussion section (50 min). During the laboratory section of the class, students will perform experiments with an emphasis on modern biochemical techniques. At the beginning of each week, an accompanying lecture provides relevant background information and outlines experiments to be performed during the week. At the end of each week, there is a discussion section that introduces the basic concepts of formal scientific writing, and introduces the students to current primary scientific literature on a plethora of topics that utilizes the laboratory skills and concepts we explore in the lab. The objectives of the WI aspect of this class are 1) to improve the overall written communication skills of students and 2) to introduce students to the discipline of formal scientific writing. Hopefully, students will gain experience in reporting on the results of experimentation in the laboratory environment and process data collected into meaningful results conveyed clearly and concisely in writing. Students will generate a total of 19 different writing assignments, and one 50 minute group oral presentation, the majority of which will be created outside of the classroom. There will be four distinct types of writing assignments: experimental laboratory reports, (semi-formal; total of 4 assignments, each four pages in length), a formal group term paper (formal literature review; 1 draft and 1 revised final paper, each 3 to 5 pages), peer-review of formal group term paper (semi-formal; 1 review, 1-2 pages), one lab notebook (informal; more than 50 pages), and 12 primary literature summaries (informal; 2 pages each). Writing assignments will coincide with the laboratory class, utilizing experimental data produced by students, or covering research topics explored during the weekly laboratory classes. All writing exercises will be graded by the instructor, based on detailed rubrics to ensure consistency of grading and to provide a high standard of feedback to the students. Students will be graded based on clarity and quality of writing, scientific content, data presentation and interpretation of results. Students will also be graded on whether answers to additional questions are coherent and argued in a logical manner. The lab notebooks will be collected in the middle and at the end of the semester and graded for clarity, completeness of experimental outline, data collection, and interpretation of results. Writing assignments will make up 69 percent of the students grade; the remaining 31 percent will be based on written exams, one laboratory practical exam, quizzes, and laboratory-based math assignments. Writing assignments will be evenly distributed throughout the semester in that all weeks of the class, students will compose and hand in some form of writing assignment. The experimental laboratory reports will be due two weeks after the completion of the labs the students will be reporting on to allow adequate time to process the data and interpret the results. The group term paper will be due six weeks into the semester, peer-reviewed the following week, and then edited over the next four weeks before the final paper is due. In addition, students are expected to maintain their informal laboratory notebook on a weekly basis before and during laboratory class periods. Finally, primary literature summaries are due on the day the papers are covered in the discussion section of the course. Teaching Experiences:Fall semester 2017 will be the fifth time I have taught this honors college class, and the third time I am using this assignment format. However, I will be teaching 5 sections of this course for the non-honors students, with the honors students dispersed throughout these sections with the distinction being the extra discussion lecture at the end of each week. The extra writing that the honors section has to do dictates the request for the WI designation. As most students in our department do not have any experience in scientific writing, I will dedicate a portion of each lecture in the honors discussion on how to write individual sections of a scientific paper. Generally, our students have an overall limited knowledge of using computer programs and web-based learning in the laboratory setting. Therefore, I will include additional assay questions that utilize internet-based computer analysis programs. These assay questions will be directly relevant to weekly experiments, in that they are essential for students to analyze and interpret their data. Thus, these assignments will not only deepen student's scientific knowledge on our laboratory topics but students will gain valuable scientific computer skills. In addition to the experimental laboratory reports, formal group term papers, and primary literature reviews, this WI class incorporates two additional types of writing assignments, the Lab notebook and peer-reviews. 1) Lab notebook (bound composition book) (mostly hand-written; more than 50 pages) One of the objectives of this informal writing assignment is to ensure that students come prepared to each lab class. To this end, students are required to write condensed but concise outlines of experimental procedures and to outline tables into this Notebook prior to arriving to each lab class. This assignment will enable students to identify possible problems or questions regarding experimental procedures in advance. Furthermore, this exercise highlights the role of laboratory notebooks as an essential scientific tool to ease data collection during the lab class period and to explore ideas or thoughts related to experiments. Students will also be introduced to the importance of keeping a comprehensible notebook because they are able to utilize their notebooks during their practical laboratory exam. Notebooks will be spot-checked periodically during class periods and collected at the middle and at the end of the semester. Notebooks will be graded by the instructor for clarity and completeness of experimental outline and data collection. 2) Peer review of draft version of the formal group term paper (one per semester). Length: one to two pages (1 1/2-spaced using standard fonts of 11 or 12 point with margins of 1 inch for the top and bottom; and 1 inch for the left and right margins). The objective of the group peer review is to teach students how to provide constructive criticism of a manuscript, and to work in a group environment. Furthermore, students will learn how to use the peer-review process to assimilate and improve on their own writing, data presentation and interpretation of their formal group term papers. Student groups will review a draft term paper of one of their colleague student groups based on peer-review guidelines provided with a copy of a draft term paper. The instructor will grade these assignments for clarity of the review and constructiveness of their criticism.