Skip to content

Writing in Bioethics

Course Number
3000 (Bioethics)
Course Instructor(s)
Michael Szego, Dave Langlois, Jamie Robertson

Course Description

The goal of this course is to introduce students to scholarly and practical writing relevant to bioethics. The main focus is on writing one bioethics commentary paper suitable for publication in a journal. The paper is expected to make an original contribution to the literature. Students will go through all the steps in writing a commentary paper, including picking a topic, developing an outline, reviewing the literature, writing a first draft, revising the paper, responding to critiques, and producing the final draft. Students will provide detailed critiques of their colleagues’ papers, simulating the journal review process. We will also discuss authorship, effective writing, media communication, as well as writing abstracts, op-ed pieces, and policies.

Course Objectives

Students who successfully complete CHL3006H will be able to:

  • distinguish different forms of bioethics writing (e.g., commentary, editorial, op-ed);
  • write comfortably and persuasively across formats, while identifying and avoiding common grammatical and argumentative mistakes;
  • produce compelling abstracts, cover letters, and other supplemental writings which assist in securing publication;
  • provide charitable, helpful, and incisive peer review of bioethics manuscripts; and
  • use the process of writing and revising to help build, systematize, and clarify their ethical views.

Methods of Assessment

Assignment #1: Critical Assessment of Arguments 10%
Assignment #2: Conference Abstract 25%
Assignment #3: Bioethics Commentary/Op-Ed/Blog 40%
Assignment #4: Peer-Review Feedback 15%
Class Participation 10%