EVSC 249

EVSC 249 – Writing for Environmental Professionals

Course Evaluation

  • 1 newspaper article 15%
  • Minutes 5%
  • Peer Review 5%
  • 1 major report 25%
  • Weekly homework assignments: 50% (5% each)

February 17, 2010: Minutes from 1st day of class

Author of minutes: Rania Masri

Present: Cherine Akkari, Ghadia Badawi, and Jeanette Al Chami

Summary: Students were asked what they’ve read lately, and the answers revealed a lack of reading.  Two students read newspapers, and one student last read an article of science sometime last year. We then discussed the relationships between writing and the environment, and the many facets of writing that environmental professionals would be doing.

Some administrational issues were noted, namely that all writing – be they emails or reports, etc – need to be well-edited. Also, all emails to the prof. should have “EVSC 249” in the subject heading.


  • By Thursday February 18 at midnight, students are to email the professor (at rania.masri@balamand.edu.lb) a well-edited response to one of the following two questions: (1) Why did you choose this major? (To be written in a persuasive manner); or (2) Why is communication important to the field of environmental science?
  • Students should bring to class on Friday any reading material on the environment — be it a newspaper article, a poem, a journal article, a book chapter, etc. — and be ready to discuss it in class.

February 19, 2010: Minutes from 1st day of class

Author of minutes: Rania Masri

Present:  Jeanette Al Chami and Amira El Halabi

Summary: Due to the small attendance, class was canceled. Homework for Wednesday February 24 was assigned.

Action: Read pages 27-35 carefully from the book ‘The Weather Makers’ and read pages 1 – 35 carefully from the book ‘Communicating Science.’ Both copies are available in the bookstore.


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February 24, 2010: Minutes for the first official session
Author of minutes: Mirella Khalil (for now)
Present: (full class of 7): Jeanette Al Chami, Cherine Akkari, Amira Halabi, Marwa (do not know the last name), Tamara Hanna, Fady Al Karmi, Mirella Khalil
Absent: NONE

All students entered the classroom with excitement, Dr.Rania was very fond to have a larger number of students in the class. We started off the session with greeting each other, and joking about Ghadia previously attending the session for fun. Then, Dr.Rania put up all the ideas she had to discuss with us up on the board. The first topic we talked about was why the course is essential, and established that it is to practice how to write for different types of audiences in order to make them all aware of environmental issues. Afterwards, “minutes” was brought up for all those who had not attended the previous session. Now, we all know “minutes” is in order to keep track of everything that happens during a class, and agreed that for every class 1 student will be held responsible to write down the events in order for everyone to always be kept updated. Many various other topics were brought up such as: the importance of reading (passive vs. active reading), how generalization is not a good way for writing in this class (our words should be chosen wisely), the fact that we are allowed to play with gender terms while writing, plagiarism (what is considered to be plagiarism, the difference between plagiarism and imitation, and the consequences of plagiarism that will be faced in this class). Then, we discussed the journals that all of us students will have to be writing twice a week throughout the semester. Dr. Rania explained to us how we should write our journals in an emotional/personal manner because emotions are significant in a writing, and make others want to read it; the words should just flow and the journal may be hand-written/typed. “The journal may be based on topics you like regarding any aspect of the environment”, said Dr.Rania. She told us that she would prefer our journal topics to be localized in order to find more information in newspapers (since we will have to be reading newspapers for the course). Finally, we talked about the main course objective, which is to choose an environmental topic we would like to read about throughout the semester, and end up writing a research paper on it; we should all have a folder to place all the information we gather on our topic in order to write the paper based on our collected information later on. Also, we definitely spent enough time on joking throughout the session. 🙂

1) By the end of February 25th, students should e-mail Dr.Rania (at rania.masri@balamand.edu.lb) a well-edited response to one of the 2 following questions:
a) Why did you choose this major? (to be written in a persuasive manner) or b) Why is communication important to the field of environmental science?

2) Students are responsible to read the assigned readings, which are to be purchased from the bookshop, from pages 27 to 35 (‘The Weather Makers’) and the journal from pages 1 to 35 focusing on pages 17 to 19 (‘Communicating Science’) for the upcoming session.

3) Students should bring in any readings on the environment whether it be a newspaper article, a poem, a journal article, a book chapter, etc.-in order to discuss it in class for the upcoming session.


Minutes from March 3, 2010

March 13, 2010
Author of minutes: Amira El Halabi
Presents: Jeanette Al Chami, Cherine Akkari, Amira Halabi, Marwa Shayah, Tamara Hanna, Fady Al Karmi, Mirella Khalil
No Absence
This is the summary of what happened during this class:
Dr Rania started  the class by writing her plans for this session on the board
Our first participation in the class was through the review of the minutes of last session done by Mirella. The minutes were quiet good. The only Remark was about the summary which was supposed to be written in a different format in order to make it easier to read.
Then we gave comments on the reading “communicating science”, and we discussed the ways of reading and writing an article.  During this activity, we compared between highlighting (memorizing) a sentence and taking notes (thinking). We also reached to an idea that no one can be objective in his writing: each one of us has an agenda and a voice.
The last thing we did during this session is that we commented on the article that we read (learning how to think critically about what we are reading). In order to be an active reader we are supposed to know the answers of these following questions: who is the writer? Why is he writing the article? Who is the article written for? Who is going to read this article? And what are the story and the message behind the article?
We can  refer  to this two online magazines  for scientific data, but be aware that sometimes some information may be totally wrong ( as Dr  Rania said ): http://www.newscientist.com, http://www.discovermagazine.com .
make up session tomorrow from 9:30 till 11:00
Read the article > 20,000 Microbes Under the Sea. By Robert Kunzig. Published online March 28, 2004. Discover Magazine, and be ready to write a revise outline for it.
Don’t forget to read the articles What is an argument & What is style.


March 4, 2010

–> Check out these websites regularly: http://www.newscientist.com/section/environment and http://discovermagazine.com/topics/environment and http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment


Handouts for March 3, 2010

What is an argument

What is style

— Reading assignment for reverse outline –> 20,000 Microbes Under the Sea. by Robert Kunzig. Published online March 28, 2004. Discover Magazine.

Date: Thursday March 4 2010

Author: Jeanette Al-Chami

Presence: Mirela, Fadi, Tamara, Cherine, Amira, Jeanette

Absence: Marwa


  • We started the class by discussing how sleepy we were.
  • We then discussed the minutes and the changes that should be made.

Changes were made to the minutes, most importantly about including the discussion of the changes done by the minutes before.

  • Dr. Rania made a clear point on why she wants us to read the new scientist magazine and the different ways of writing.
  • She also discussed all the new links that she had posted on the website page.
  • Then we discussed what is meant by an argument, what it means, examples on arguments and what is needed to prove that it is an argument.
  • An example of an argument was given, the example was on the vi=oting age in Lebanon. We developed two columns, one supporting and the other counter.
  • We took the steps for discussing and understanding an argument, which were: (1). Identify it. (2). Reason.
  • Also it is important that we make the readert understand  the argument and give them a conclusion. Its not enough to give the reader a neutral piece of your argument, a ”so” is needed. We need to make information make sense and mean something.
  • We laughed a little when Dr. rania told us her story about the leather sea turtle.
  • Later one,we talked more about revears outline and how to do it, how to readthe artile inorder to do a reverse outline and what still to use.
  • We explained what a peer-reviewed article is and why it is important.


  • Due Monday, we need to find a peer-reviewed article (no older than 2008). The article is supposed to be on your own topic and it has to have a pure scientific method.
  • By Friday, we need to summarize this article as if we are writing it for a newspaper but no longer than 600-700 words.
  • A reverse outline for the article by Monday noom (12:00 p.m)

Date: Wednesday March 10, 2010

Author: Cherine Akkari

Present: Amira El Halabi, Jeanette Al Chami, Tamara Hanna, Mirella Khalil, Marwa Shayah.

Absent: Fadi Al Karmi


  • Dr. Rania started the session by writing her plans for today’s class on the board.
  • Then, we started to read the minutes done by our colleague:” Jeanette”.
  • Each one of us had to edit the minutes.
  • The minutes were full of spelling mistakes like noom instead of noon, artile instead of article, revears instead of reverse, vi=oting instead of voting, and so on.
  • Grammar mistakes like run-on sentences were present too.
  • The minutes were written in a way that told us, the readers, what happened without telling us what really happened. This means that the minutes showed a lack of necessary information.
  • “Leather sea turtle”, a sentence in the minutes that Dr. Manal would probably laugh on it if he saw it. In fact, this sentence do not exist at all.
  • An important note about a common mistake was noticed: The past tense comes always after “if”.
  • Lessons learned from editing the minutes:
  1. When it comes to writing your own work, read at loud to notice the mistakes.
  2. Circle what is unclear and put your own comments in the margins.
  3. Minutes need to be read by all of us before class.
  4. Make sense about what is represented unclearly.
  5. You can write from your heart, but you can be logical too.
  6. Express yourself clearly when making an argument.
  7. 1+1 does not equal to 1+1, unless you define it by making the facts connected or correlated.
  8. When it comes to writing the date, spell out the month to avoid confusion.
  9. When in doubt, save letters. What is the difference between” in order to” and “to”? In fact, there is no difference; just one sounds more pompous than the other.

10.Use simple words like “use” instead of “utilize”. When you use simple words, your writing becomes more clearer. This shows your strength in what you writing about. So, force yourself to become as clear as possible.

11.There is slightly different meanings between the comma, the semicolon and the two points (colon), but most often, we are not aware of them.

12. It is better to write “it is” instead of “it’s” to avoid the confusion of the verbs. One might think that “it’s” could be “it has”.

  • After finishing editing of the minutes, Dr. Rania showed us how to search for the

articles needed for our summary on Wednesday March 17, 2010. The process was simple:

1)    Go to www.balamand.edu.lb

2)    Click on “ Librairies”.

3)    Click on Online Database under Electronic Resources.

4)    Click on Green File.

5)    Write the key words that are necessary for your research about the article that you need.

6)    Check the little square box beside PDF full text and peer-reviewed article.

7)    Write the publication date that you want.

8)    Click on Search and the results will come.

  • Attention: Do not read “The Daily Star” because it is full of mistakes; unless you enjoy editing the mistakes  .
  • Dr. Rania will not access to our emails during Sunday March 14, Monday March 15 and Tuesday March 16.


  • By Friday March 12, those who didn’t present the reverse outline for the article: 20,000 Microbes Under the Sea. By Robert Kunzig. Published online March 28, 2004. Discover Magazine , should present it. Those who presented the reverse outline and want to edit it once again, they can.
  • BY Wednesday March 17, we need to summarize a peer-reviewed article (no older than 2008), as if we were writing it for a newspaper. The summary should be between 600 and 700 words.


March 12, 2010

Homework: For all students, do ALL the exercises on this page. Then email me by Friday March 19 (by 10 am Friday) to tell me, in detail, the results of your exercises. What did you do correctly? Where did you have problems? What did you learn.

Date: Friday March 12, 2010

Author: Tamara Hanna

Presence: Amira El Halabi, Jeanette Al Chami, Marwa Al Shayah, Fadi Al Karmi, Mirella Khalil

Absence: None


  • We started the class by Marwa reading the minutes written by Cherine for the last session.
  • Dr.Rania brought up a new idea or more of a task to do each week after minutes are written: the author gets to choose one of his/her classmates to correct the minutes.
  • So, Cherine, this time, chose Fadi in order for him to correct hers. Fadi should focus on correcting the style and grammar.
  • Dr.Rania asked each student about the topic they chose for their final paper and the topics were mentioned like that:

-Amira: ground water + air pollutionàagriculture, Lebanon

-Jeanette: climate changeàmarine life (sharks)

-Marwa: agricultureàeconomy in Lebanon (19xx-2010)

-Cherine: fisheries industryàecosystemàMediterranean

-Tamara: seaturtlesàMediterranean

-Mirella: jellyfishàMediterranean

-Fadi: hashish, cannabisàenvironmental impacts

  • Speaking about Fadi’s topic, Dr.Rania talked on how Eva Morales, President of Bolivia tried to change the governmental rules and defended cocaine as a part of the country’s culture.
  • Students started asking about their journals and what kind of articles should they seek in their research, our professor answered: “Every article should be about every person’s topic…a minimum of one article a student should bring to class every time we have a session (minimum-twice a week). These articles can be written in English, French and Arabic. But English is preferred.”
  • In class we did an exercise called: Authoritative Nonsense: you get to pick any subject you want, but you should be ignorant of this topic… plus, you should write it professionally showing that you are totally knowledgeable of it…
  • Yes, this question was very smart, because until now I can’t arrange my ideas in a way that I can project it on a soft word copy!
  • Students in class looked at each other wondering about what subjects to pick and very funny ones came up such as Amira’s: How to make a cow fly, subject to a severe diet and tough gym sessions and so on…
  • Mirella, just ripped her first draft paper out of anger, grief and frustration. Suddenly, Amira singing.
  • Fadi’s phone kept on ringing and ringing and ringing…
  • Ringing, ringing and ringing…
  • For Jeanette, Marwa and me, it was very hard for us to concentrate for the reason that the question was mind challenging!
  • While writing Mirella asked me to put Norah Jones’s songs on my laptop media player in order to focus.


1)     Fadi should finish correcting Cherine’s minutes by the next time we meet.

2)     Homework: on the web, due Friday: do grammar exercises…

Suggestion: do not wait for Thursday to do the exercises!!

3)      We had until the end of class (12.30) to finish the session assignment, but difficulty was faced by some students in writing so an action was proposed by Dr.Rania:

1-     E-mail it to her by midnight today.

2-     Tell her why you had a writer’s block.


Date: Wednesday March 17, 2010

Auther: Marwa Al Shayah

Present: Amira El Halabi, Jeanette Al Cahmi, Tamara Hanna, Mirella Khalil, Fadi Al Karam, Cherine Akkari

Absent: None

The last minutes were edited by Rami. It was done and given to the Dr. Rania


* Dr. Rania started the lecture by writing her plans for this class today and Rami choose Mirella to edit Tamara’s minutes.

* Dr. Rania asked Jeanette to read the minutes of Tamara. All the students agreed on these minutes and there were no comments just those that Dr Rania said:

* Dr. Rania asked Jeannette why she changed the words from “me” to “you”. Dr. Rania added that there was “I” in the minutes, this shows that the author was in the minutes. Jeanette wondered if this is wrong and the answer given by the Dr. was that when we write the minutes we say “Rania said…” or “Tamara said…” without using “I” or “you”.

* A new thing added to the minutes is that it should be started by “The minutes have been reviewed, or edited by…”

* Since Dr Rania will be missing some classes, so she asked us to choose a time for extra classes. It was difficult because of the conflicts of other classes, so Dr. Rania suggested having one-to-one conference for 30 minutes each.

* Dr. Rania wrote her schedule for free hours:

Tuesday and Thursday before 2 pm- free

Wednesday and Friday before 10:30 am-free

Dr. Rania does not have any classes on Monday, so no appointments

She added that she is not in Lebanon on 25 and 26 March and no classes between 27March and 6April

* Then, each student has to email Dr. Rania two choices and she will choose one and tell him/her which time they will meet.

* Marwa asked if we can mention the references in the summary for a newspaper article. The answer was that references can not be mentioned in the summary for a newspaper article, but they can be mentioned in the report. The only case where references are mentioned in a newspaper article is when it is so long then references should be included.

* Jeanette asked if we could include some definitions in the summary. Definitions could be put in the summary as long as these are not known with the reader and be careful to be short since the summary is not long and there are more important ideas to mention, Dr Rania said.

* Dr Rania asked Marwa to remind here to put the list and blogs on the website.

Merilla did the exercises and send an email to the Dr. mentioning the difficulties she had in these exercises.

* When Dr Rania asked about the articles we should have brought to the class, Rami refused to start talking about his article and Chereine said that she chooses her topic by reading just the title not the full article. Jeanette said that she forgot what the title of her article was since she did not print it for an “ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUE”.

* Amira showed us some pictures about Nahr El-Bared, something related to her topic of the report. A title she gave us was very long and somehow difficult to understand.

* Tamara did not know what to do about the report. Dr. Rania explained to her that the research paper will be based on the articles that we pick up each time (related to the topic chosen) and their summaries will help us to do the report.

* The details about the research paper will be given after the Easter vacation.

* A long debate was about Jeanette’s topic for the report: she asked if she could talk about different types of marine species and then mention the impact of climate change on them. But Merilla did not agree, because this can not be written for 18-20 pages report.

* Dr. Rania suggested that Jeanette’s report should be as the following:


(     -which fish (ex. Tuna fish

B. The direct impact of tuna by climate change

C. How preys impact Tuna

D. how predator affect Tuna

All of these should have a link with climate change, economy, and other information that should be mentioned.

* Some questioned were about some types of marine species and Dr. Rania preferred to ask these questions for Dr. Manal, he knows more.

* Marwa started talking about the article she brought to the class. She discussed with the Dr. the style of this newspaper article. Dr. Rania said that it is better to include both “telling the story and showing it” and this will be somehow hard to the author.

* Dr. Rania gave us our last assignment and then she returns them back, why she did that we don’t know.

* Dr. Rania asked us what she means by saying “The weather today is… (nice for an example)??

* Each student understands this sentence according to himself, how he/ she can understand the word “nice”.

* Dr. Rania asked us, within 15 minutes, to write a paragraph includes a physical and emotional… person or moment. Be able to describe it specifically without using “nice or pretty”. Use a unique “image” with full words.

* Merilla preferred to go to the bathroom before she starts concentrating.

* Students started thinking and writing.

* Tamara appeared confused about what to talk. At this moment Dr. Rania was reading the last assignment of Tamara and she was laughing. The Dr. and Tamara are the only two who know what is funny in the assignment.

* Then Dr. Rania left the class a while and return back to take the assignment.


1) Merilla should finish editing Tamar’s minutes before the next class and give it to the Dr.

2) Today, 17 March 2010, by 12:00pm (midnight) the entire student should have been submitting their summary of article they chose.

3) Don’t forget the exercises to be done by Friday 19 March 2010, before midnight (12:00pm).

4) Each student has to send an Email for Dr. Rania giving her two choices to have a one-to-one conference.

5) Do not forget to bring an article about the topic chosen by each one for the next class, Friday 19 March2010.

March 19, 2010

Homework assignment: Edit this report. Edit it carefully. Due Wednesday March 24 (edit this report)

In addition to correcting the grammar, follow these steps:

  • Step 1

Step back from your work and read the document as if you’re not the writer or expert. Determine the main point(s) of the document and whether these points meet your goals for this piece of writing.

  • Step 2

Examine the basic, unstated assumptions in the document. Evaluate whether they are logical, consistent, and supported throughout the writing.

  • Step 3

Ask whether someone could come to a different conclusion with the same ideas and arguments that you have provided. If so, identify places where you can better explain your ideas or provide stronger evidence for them.

For grammatical questions, refer to: The Elements of Style

For additional advice, refer to the excellent Purdue writing lab: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/561/01/

Minutes (received March 24: late)

Date: Friday, March 18th 2010
Author: Fady Alkarmi
Present: Amira El Halabi, Cherine Akkari, Jeanette AL Chami, Tamara Hanna, Mirella Khalil, Marwa Shayah and Fady Alkarmi.

Absent: None
Class began late a few minutes late.
Minutes were read and discussed. Rania had commented on the minutes in particular to the use of past tense in sentences beginning with the word “if.” Another note was in regard to the use of “Dr.” to describe a PHD which is not acceptable in the United States.
Consensus given over minutes.
Fady Alkarmi was chosen to be this session’s minute taker.
Amira Halabi was chosen to be this session’s minute editor.
One on one meetings with Rania were scheduled (find dates enclosed in Action.)
Jeanette presented and read her article on tuna.
Rania commented on the classes editing skills, and in an effort to enhance them an editing exercise was given in class.
An assignment was given was given by Rania on editing to further improve the classes editing skills.

Below are the appointments given by Rania to each student.

Students are to download and edit a document found on the courses website, which is to be mailed upon completion to Rania before midnight of Wednesday March 24th.
As always students are expected to read and bring an article, concerning their chosen or allocated topics.

Minute taker rotations have concluded with Fady Alkarmi and are to be refreshed Wednesday march 24th 2010.
Minute editor rotations are to be cycled next session with the exception of the following students: Mirella Khalil, Fady Alkarmi and Amira Halabi


Marwa Al-Shayah

EVSC-249: the minutes

Date: Wednesday 24 March 2010

Author: Marwa Al-Shayah

Present: Amira El Halabi, Jeanette El Chami, Fady Alkarmi, Tamara Hanna, Mirella Khalil, Cherine akkari

Absent: none

The last minutes were edited by Amira and given to Dr. Rania


* Class began a few minutes late because of a discussion about the fisheries in Lebanon

* Tamara will edit Fady’s minutes

* Ghadya attended the class and joined it with us for the whole lecture

* Cherine read the minutes of Fady

* Dr. Rania remind us that minutes should be sent in the same day before midnight (12:00 pm)

* Remember the homework (editing a paper) to be given today Wednesday 24 March 2010, before midnight (12:00 pm)

* Public speaking was the subject to be explained. Dr. Rania started by asking what the traits for a good public speech are:

+ Know your audience

+ Logical

+ Language

+ Entertainment

+ Credibility

+ Feel free to talk

+ Know your material

+ Clear and direct

+ Eye contact

+ Catch/ introduction

* Then, Dr. Rania asked if any body had ever experienced a public speech other than speaking in class (presentations). Tamara talked about here experience (afraid at the beginning of the talk)

* Eye contact is very important. Then Dr. Rania concentrated on changing the eye contact to get the attention of the audience

* Dr. Rania showed some slides that explain more details concerning public speech

* First, how to write the talk:

+ know the material good

+ know more than you talk

+ the way to convince people and persuade them

+ include some statistics and personal examples, try to make a sense of these examples and statistics

+ includes open questions

* Be sure when you introduce yourself (as a speaker) to attract the attention of the audience and focus from the beginning on the speech

* The conclusion should have the most persuasive material and the speaker should say his last words and be sure that the full message has been said

* Second, preparing the speech:

starting from writing with style:

* language (short, simple and persuasive)

* visuals (used only when it helps telling the story and use it in an appropriate manner)

* Editing (make it clear, objective, right length language, accurate information)

* Third, the acting part:

* practicing silence (start-stop exercises)

* connecting words (what words to concentrate on)

* good-bad news (give the sentence meaning by the voice, emotions)

* More rehearsals:

* relaxed body

* direct movements

* posture

* eye contact

* Body language is so important. And the vocal instruments help also introducing an idea


1) Don’t forget to send the homework (editing) today Wednesday 24 March 2010

2) For April 7, write a speech and every student will introduce it for 7-10 minute. (Write the speech, it should be 2 pages and double space, keep 20 cm on each margin for editing)

Date: Wednesday April 7, 2010

Author: Jeanette Al-Chami

Presence: Amira, Mierella, Marwa, Tamara, Fadi, Cherine and Sami.

Absence: None [Note by Rania Masri: Fadi was late]


v We started the class by Mirella reading the minutes of the last session that were written by Marwa.

v Minutes were very clear.

v Dr. Rania asked about our 2 page speech and saw who did it. She said that the speech for today is not graded but the reviewed one due Friday is.

v  She also wants the speech to be typed and to write in the margins our personal notes.

v We took a quick break talking about our Easter break.

v Each one of us discussed their topic for the speech and what they want the audience to know. We need to keep in mind that we want the audience to feel and know what we are talking about. We need to think of the “take home message” of our speech.

v Throughout the speech, we want your audience to do something.

v One of the main points that Dr. Rania pointed out was that we are writing a speech not an article.

v After figuring out what we want to do, who is our audience? Then we say: What is it that the audience needs to know.

v Different people will need different ways to know.

v After all of this is clear, we can give the information and connect it to make sense of it.

v We took 10 minutes writing and building up our information.

v Dr. Rania reminded us of the outline of our speech (body –intro- conclusion) and that the take home message is the most important part in the conclusion.

v  All of this information is found in the presentation that Dr. Rania will be putting on the website.

v Then each one of us presented the points that we listed about our topic.

v Dr. Rania helps as know how we are going to give the message and what to do. She also pointed out the importance of silence in our speech and why we shouldn’t show anger in our speech.


v Due Friday April 7, 2010 we must email Dr. Rania our revisede speech by 10:30 A.M


Public Speaking presentation – Public speaking

Author: Mirella Khalil

Present: Tamara Hanna, Jeanette Al-Chami, Cherine Akkari

Absent: Fady Al-Karmi, Amira Halabi, Marwa Al-Shayah

EVSC 249-Minutes: Practice on Public Speaking

Date: April 9, 2010


  • Ghadia paid us another surprise visit. 
  • Minutes by Jeanette were reviewed and approved of.
  • The new minutes’ editor (Tamara) and taker (Mirella) were assigned.
  • Our appointments with Dr.Rania were reviewed, and these were the changes: Jeanette, Cherine, and Marwa will meet up with Dr.Rania on April 15th.
  • Jeanette’s meeting is now from 11-12 (noon), and the rest of the appointments are unchanged.
  • We discussed our final paper,the outline will be due April 19, the first draft will be due May 5, and the final paper will be due May 12.
  • Each of us presented our prepared speeches.
  • Tamara was the first to present (topic: donating hair to children with cancer), followed by Cherine (topic: fisheries and aquaculture), then Mirella (topic: saving stray dogs), and finally Jeanette (topic: tuna declination).
  • After each given speech there was a discussion with Dr. Rania on how to improve our skills on presenting.
  • The main comments were:
  1. We must find an interesting and indirect (“don’t tell what you’re saying”) way to open our speeches to suck in our audience.
  2. Our speeches’ content should be detailed, we should watch our word choice, be expressive, and optimistic (find a gentle way to say what we want to in order to gain our audience’s attention).
  3. Our information should always be as updated as possible.
  4. We should try to use visuals to grab our audience’s attention.
  5. We should avoid generalizations and assumptions to keep our audience interested.
  6. The way we dress (nothing distracting) and stand (should not seem tense) is very important when presenting.
  7. We should sound confident and try not to read too fast/slow.


Lacking (Not sure what there is to do if there is anything to do).



* Edit this assignment. Do it carefully this time. Look for grammatical mistakes *and* content issues.  Read it several times at least. Deadline: Monday April 19th. editing assignment number 2

* Use this text to assist you in the editing assignment. Notes and Revising Your Work

* Note: No class on April 14. We’re meeting one-on-one instead.

* Your outline for your research paper is due April 21 (Wednesday) by noon. 5% of your grade.


April 16: Readings: Read pages 3 to 91 in the book ‘On Writing Well’ by William Zinsser. Must have read first 45 pages by Wednesday April 21. Yes, reading these pages will help you in your editing, your outline, and your writing.

EVSC 249 Report – draft/final assignment (Outline: April 19; Draft: May 5; Final: May 12) See this document for details: evsc 249 report- draft assignment

Please read this document – on advice on writing a draft from_Anne_Lamott’s_Bird_by_Bird

April 28 2010

Reminder of deadlines:

May 5: Draft due (minimum 2,000 words)

May 5: Annotated Bibliography due (see Annotated Bib Template)

May 12: Final due (minimum 2,000 words)

Reading: read this book: A Rulebook for Arguments. Here it is online, in part, for free.


EVSC249: minutes
Date: April 30, 2010
Author: Amira
Present:  Tamara, Chirine, Marwa, Jeanette, Mirella  and Fadi
Absent: none
The last minute was done by Mirella 2 weeks ago.
The class started by giving me the honor to restart writing the minutes; of course I wasn’t happy with this task, but writing our minutes is the routine of our class.
Our class theme was “the development of a good argument”.
Our session was a power point presentation about the different kinds of arguments, and each argument was illustrated with a well explained example.
The keywords in this session were: Premises, arguments, causes, causation, correlation and conclusion.
The atmosphere of the class was sleepy.
On May 5, we have to email Dr. Rania:
our first draft
our annotated bibliography
our homework ( Argument Style)
On May 7, we have to:
Read a story on Nature Language Website (www.naturelanguage.com) , and send Mrs. Masri our comment about it .
NB: for further information contact Mrs. Masri : D

[Note: The term “Mrs” means a married woman.  The term “Miss” means a single woman. I oppose the use of both terms in a professional setting. Use the term “Dr.” or the “Ms.”.]


Date: 5-5-2010
Author: Tamara
Present: Amira, Mirella, Fadi, Jeanette, Chirine
Absent: Marwa (get well soon:-D)
The class this time was only about reading:
-Doctor Rania told us about Rachel Carsen and her way in writing. Carsen writes in a way that she always has a new way of argument.
-Always take your time before reading your draft.
-In this way, one will read his/her draft with “fresh eyes”!
-Dr.Rania then gave us readings to do.
-We also mentioned the Orange House in Tyr, and spoke about going there for a week-end and help protect the nests of sea turtles.
-Every student went to a different place in the university, and read the pieces throughout the hour left.

-Due Friday: +Read from http://www.nature.com and send your feedback (optional)
+E-mail Doctor Rania your feedback about Carsen’s reading and include: -Likes, dislikes and  differences between FAO and Carsen.


New deadlines:

May 13: Your 2nd draft is due. Draft should include comments on the “whole” and on the “details” – as discussed in class today.  Your 2nd draft should also be what you consider to be your final paper. References must be included – and must be either MLA or APA format. Annotated bibliography must also be included. This is also a graded assignment

May 24: Your final paper is due. No late papers accepted.


Attention all EVSC 249 students, review these pages carefully:

(1) Logic and Argument

(2) Logical Fallacies

(3) Logical Fallacies in Writing


Due Wednesday May 26 – before class

* State a clear argument regarding a movement of positive change (as discussed in class)

* List at least 10 questions  you’d need to answer to prove your argument.

Due Friday May 28 -* Bring with you to class, an editorial (in either English or Arabic), and your own breakdown of the article’s argument and facts presented to substantiate the argument. Be ready to analyze the logic presented in the article.

Discussed during class: option for extra work for extra credit.

Newspaper article (600-700 words; English or Arabic)

– Draft due June 4

– Final due June 16


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