MIT Writing Requirement

UROP AND THE WRITING REQUIREMENT

UROP provides the opportunity not only to pursue research with faculty, but also to do the kinds of writing that are needed to pass Phase One and Phase Two.

PHASE ONE PAPERS

A thoughtful written evaluation of your most recent semester as a UROPer might well be acceptable for satisfying Phase One. A well-written UROP proposal might also be appropriate. In either case, the paper must be atleast five pages long. (If you choose to submit a UROP evaluation, remember that you thereby waive the confidentiality normally guaranteed to evaluations. You may choose to submit a confidential statement separately to UROP.)

For example, imagine that you spent your spring UROP freshman year trying to design a nuclear-powered bike lamp. You had to learn where the machine shops were on campus; figure out how to use the library; and discover who would supply you with a little plutonium. You met some strange characters in the process, you found your supervisor helpful but distracted, and you experienced a range of emotions from frustration and despair to quiet satisfaction.

If you choose, you could write up this experience in a five-page paper, introducing the reader to life as a UROPer at MIT, focusing as much on the personal as on the technical accomplishments. This paper could then be submitted to the Writing Requirement.

PHASE TWO PAPERS

UROP provides the opportunity not only to pursue research with faculty, but also to do the professional writing that is needed to satisfy Phase Two.

In many departments, you may submit reports of UROP research in order to demonstrate your skill in writing in the discipline's professional style. For example, if you have just spent your third summer as a UROPer with a theoretical-physics professor, exploring the existence of a new subatomic particle, you could ask your Departmental Writing Coordinator if a report of the research would be acceptable for Phase Two. If your Departmental Writing Coordinator approves, write up a final report for the professor, detailing your research procedures, observations, and conclusions. Ask the professor to review and approve the report. If the faculty member approves the report, you may submit it to your department for Phase Two.


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