WRIT 340: Advanced Writing for the Health Sciences

Course Description and Objectives

This class builds on the argumentative, rhetorical, stylistic, and organizational skills you began cultivating at the beginning of your college career in WRIT 150 (or its equivalent) and have since developed in in writing produced both in and outside your academic major. Our goal will be to enhance and refine your writing skills within the immediate academic context of the Health Sciences while simultaneously remaining mindful of the uses for these skills that you will likely confront in your professional life beyond USC.

In general, I encourage you to view WRIT 340 as a class on professional and advanced academic writing, and to that end, to embrace the opportunity this course gives you to produce written works of superior quality worthy of consideration by respected members of your field. Part of our focus in the course will be on the practices and study of selected types of discourse within your specific fields. To that end, you will examine rhetorical issues related to writing in your professional contexts—particularly how differing rhetorical situations alter purpose, audience, writer, text, and genre practices.

WRIT 340 Course Goals

  • Develop methods of inquiry allowing you to question, research, read, write, and reflect on professional discursive practices
  • Discover and convey complex ideas critically
  • Identify and address specific audiences with authority and persuasiveness
  • Appreciate the nuances of good argument
  • Understand how writers adapt to professional contexts
  • Write clear, grammatical, well-structured prose
  • Exhibit communication practices in addition to writing, such as oral and visual presentation skills

Relevant Course Materials (PDF format):


Writing Project One: Responding to Ethical Issues in Medicine

Writing Project Two: Responding to Stress: Does Wellness Work?

Writing Project Three: Professional Argument Using Visual Data

Writing Project Four: Writing a Personal Statement