Freshman students are instructed to read a popular science book related to the topic of the course and produce an outline of the work. To achieve this, they must identify the author's thesis and the arguments brought forth in support of the thesis. This analysis is done for the whole book and is repeated for every chapter. This exercise develops the ability to grasp how experiments serve as evidence in scientific discourse. This gives students the tools to read popular science books critically. Given the ease of access to this type of resource, this assignment may develop lifelong skills for scientifically informed citizens.

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