Composition Reading Bank: Science

An Open Educational Resource for Composition Courses

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Colin, Chris. "Drawing a Line in the Sand Over River Rights"  infoColin tells the story of a man who decided to challenge the idea of private property along public rivers and waterways and how that led to an exploration of laws and conservation, as well as attitudes about land, land management, and recreation. (First- and Third-Person Perspective; Narrative; Expository; Persuasion)

Doyle, Brian. "Joyas Voladoras" [Text + Audio]  infoDoyle profiles the hummingbird and blue whale, transitioning from a study of the physical heart to a metaphorical heart and what makes humans feel deeply and why. (Second- and Third-Person Perspective; Profile; Philosophical Meditation)

Eagleman, David. "The Brain on Trial"  infoEagleman presents many examples to explore how criminal acts might be understood through the lens of neuroscience. (Third-Person Perspective; Expository; Persuasive)

Fisher, Helen E. "The Biology of Attraction"  infoFisher compares the courting and dating techniques of men and women to those of animals. She examines body language, odors, posturing, and relationship trajectories and failures. (First- and Third-Person Perspective; Expository)

Freedman, David H. "Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science"  infoFreedman profiles the work of medical researchers to examine and expose flaws in the medical research process. (Third-Person Perspective; Expository)

Goldfarb, Ben. "The Endling: Watching a Species Vanish in Real Time"  infoGoldfarb explores the idea of an “endling,” the last of a species to die, and follows the animal known as the vaquita as it becomes extinct. Goldfarb follows efforts to revive the species and the barriers to doing so, including cultural views, legal efforts, and money. (Third-Person Perspective; Narrative; Expository; Definition)

Hawking, Stephen, and Leonard Mlodinow. "The (Elusive) Theory of Everything"  infoHawking and Mlodinow describe the search by scientists for "one final theory of everything." They reflect on the possibility that this may never happen and that we may have to accept multiple models of reality that can never be reconciled. This article comes from a book on the same theme, The Grand Design. (Third-Person Perspective; Expository)

Jensen, Derrick. "World Gone Mad"  infoJensen argues about the detrimental and foundational impact of power, economic development, and how psychopathology can help with understanding the lack of impactful change regarding respectful actions and attitudes towards the planet. (First- and Third-Person Perspective; Persuasive)

Nijhuis, Michelle. "Which Species Will Live?"  infoNijhuis argues why the "Noah Principle" is the best approach for scientists and policy makers to prevent the extinction of endangered species. (Third-Person Perspective; Expository; Persuasive)

Skloot, Rebecca. "The Woman in the Photograph"  infoIn this excerpt from the prologue of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Skloot reveals the story that cells taken from Lacks, an African American woman, without her permission continue to advance cures and studies in science today. (First-Person Perspective; Narrative; Expository)

Stirone, Shannon. "Welcome to the Center of the Universe"  infoStirone discusses the Deep Space Network at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She details the history of the network, its importance, and the way that lack of funding and public support has jeopardized research. (Third-Person Perspective; Narrative; Expository; Definition; Persuasion)

The Union of Concerned Scientists. "Coal and Air Pollution"  infoThe Union of Concerned Scientists describe the many specific chemicals present in air pollution and their effects on people, on the environment, and on global warming. (Third-Person Perspective; Expository; Persuasive)

Tisdale, Sallie. "We Do Abortions Here: A Nurse's Story"  infoTisdale was a nurse at an abortion clinic when she wrote this essay. In it, she uses narrative details and reflection to show what her work is like and the conflicts she and the other workers feel. (First-Person Perspective; Narrative; Descriptive; Philosophical Meditation)


Except where otherwise indicated, the Composition Reading Bank by Rachel Brooks-Pannell, Shawn Casey, Rebecca Fleming, and Nick Lakostik at Columbus State Community College is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This license does not extend to the contents of external web pages.


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