Health Science Writing

Course Details
& Course Number
ENG 207, LEC 201
Class Number
Course Type
Meets Requirements
Maria Novotny
Course Dates
May 31-June 25, 2022 (4 weeks)

English 207 introduces the theory and practice of health science writing. While it will prove interesting and useful to students from many majors, its target audiences are students in the College of Health Sciences, the College of Nursing, Pre-Medicine, Dental, and other medical fields. This past decade, the healthcare industry has undergone a transformation with where, how, and why writing happens. For example, what health and medical professions conceive of as “documentation” or “charting” IS writing, even though practitioners call it by another name. And the technologies by which such writing is happening is also changing – drastically. Additionally, most writing in healthcare settings is now also multimodal, incorporating textual, digital, visual, and aural content (telehealth, m- and e-health, etc.). Multimodal platforms of communication (Instagram, YouTube channels, and Facebook) are also contributing to how health information is circulated, consumed and experienced in the world.  As such, this course focuses on technical, professional, and popular communication in and about the health sciences. Its theme is professional identify formation – what does it mean to act, speak, and think like a professional? How does one manage the transition from layperson to professional? And how can writing and communication work to assist in this transition? To answer this question, we start from the assumption that good communication is essential to positive outcomes for all stakeholders in the health science fields, and that good communication requires a comprehensive understanding of the contemporary health system. Students in the class will read, discuss and consider the rhetorical situation of when, who, and how writing is used in healthcare. To achieve these goals, students will be exposed to research strategies, rhetorical theory, multimodal composition, and more. This comprehensive approach is designed to help you understand and enlarge all aspects of your professional identity.

Course Syllabus (.pdf)