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CLAS 205 B: Bioscientific Vocabulary Building From Latin and Greek

Meeting Time: 
MWF 8:30am - 9:20am
CHL 101
Diana holding up a puppy and smiling
Diana Molkova

Syllabus Description:

CLAS 205B — Bioscientific Vocabulary

Autumn 2018, MWF 8.30-9.20, CHL 101


Instructor: Diana Molkova                         


Mailbox: Classics Dept. Office, Denny 262

Office: Denny Hall 400K

Office Hours: TTh 11.30-12.30 and by appointment

Department Phone: 206­543­2266


Department Course Coordinator:

Professor Alain M. Gowing

M262C Denny Hall, Department of Classics   



 Required Text:​

  • Donald M. Ayers, Bioscientific Terminology: Words from Latin and Greek Stems (The University of Arizona Press)

Recommended Reference Texts:​

  • Any reputable English dictionary with etymological entries, such as T​he American Heritage Dictionary (​3​rd e​d.), or W​ebster’s New World Dictionary.​
  • Online resources:
    Google dictionary (google “define + word”)
    Online Etymology Dictionary (
    Merriam-Webster Dictionary (



The primary goal of this course is to improve your understanding of technical vocabulary used in the biological sciences. You will learn to assess the meaning of words by breaking them down into component parts that derive from Latin and ancient Greek. By the end of the quarter you should be at ease in identifying rare medical or scientific terminology. No knowledge of Latin or Greek is required.

Successful completion of this class requires a great deal of memorization. Students must keep up with the assignments and review the contents of each lesson regularly.



Out of courtesy to your classmates and to me, please come to class on time and prepared to contribute.


If absence is unavoidable due to illness or other legitimate circumstance (that is, family emergency, religious or cultural obligation, court date, university-sponsored competition or field trip), please contact me via e-mail to let me know before class.  If you are absent, it is your responsibility to find out what you missed in class, to catch up on any missed homework, to schedule make-ups for any quizzes or exams, and to make sure I give you any relevant points. 


I answer class-related e-mails only on weekdays (M-F) during work hours (8.00-17.00). Please keep in mind that our e-mail correspondence is a public record according to RCW 42.56, the Washington State Public Records Act, and I have the right to share it with my supervisor or other authorities if I think it is necessary (more information at


I cannot discuss grades during class or via e-mail due to university policy, but only during office hours or by appointment.




Homework: To help you stay on track with memorization, there are 5 homework assignments in the format of canvas quiz that consist of vocabulary items from recent reading. They are open-note, and are each worth 10 points.


Tests: There will be three tests, worth 70 points each, given over the course of the quarter. Make-up opportunities will only be given due to a legitimate absence, as defined above, and then only if the absent student promptly e-mails me to reschedule. 


Final Exam: The final exam for this course is worth 140 points and is cumulative. The final exam will be held on: Tuesday, December 11, 8.30-10.20 in CHL 101. In accordance with university policy, the final exam will be administered only on this date and at this time.Final Examination Guidelines, including policy on ‘unavoidable absence’:

Bonus points: Bonus points will be offered in the quizzes and in the final. Even if a student has achieved the maximum score for a given quiz or final without the bonus points, any earned bonuses will be ‘banked’ for use towards the student’s overall points total for the course.

Grading breakdown:

Quizzes 5 x 10: 50 points

Tests 3 x 70: 210 points

Final Exam: 140 points


Total: 400 points


4.0: 400-381      3.0: 320-312      2.0: 230-221      1.0: 139-120

3.9: 380-371      2.9: 311-302      1.9: 220-211      0.9: 119-109

3.8: 370-366      2.8: 301-293      1.8: 210-201      0.8: 108-98

3.7: 365-361      2.7: 292-284      1.7: 200-191      0.7: 97-87

3.6: 360-356      2.6: 283-275      1.6: 190-181      0.0: 86 or fewer*

3.5: 355-351      2.5: 274-266      1.5: 180-171

3.4: 350-345      2.4: 265-257      1.4: 170-161

3.3: 344-337      2.3: 256-248      1.3: 160-151

3.2: 336-329      2.2: 247-239      1.2: 150-141

3.1: 328-321      2.1: 238-231      1.1: 140-131


*Note: In order to pass this class, you must receive 87 points or greater.



All readings and assignments are due on the day they are listed on the syllabus.






Week 1 (9/24-9/30)




Lesson 1

Week 2 (10/1-10/7)

Lessons 2 and 3



Lessons 4 and 5

Lesson 6

Week 3 (10/8-10/14)

Lessons 7 and 8



Lesson 9

TEST 1 (1-9)

Week 4 (10/15-10/21)

Lessons 10 and 11



Lessons 12 and 13

Lesson 14

Week 5 (10/22-10/28)

Lessons 15 and 16



Lessons 17 and 18

Lesson 19

Week 6 (10/29-11/4)


Lesson 20



TEST 2 (10-20)

Lessons 21 and 22

Week 7 (11/5-11/11)

Lessons 23 and 24


Lessons 25 and 26

Lesson 27


Week 8 (11/12-11/18)



Lessons 28 and 29


Lesson 30

Week 9 (11/19-11/25)

TEST 3 (21-30)


Lessons 31 and 32


Week 10 (11/26-12/2)


Lessons 33 and 34


Lessons 35 and 36

Lesson 37

Week 11 (12/3-12/9)

Lessons 38 and 39


Lesson 40





Final Exam: Tuesday, December 11, 8.30-10.20 in CHL 101



I reserve the right to modify the syllabus.

Catalog Description: 
Designed to help the student master the scientific vocabulary of his or her particular field by a study of the Latin and Greek roots that are used to create the majority of scientific terms. No auditors. Knowledge of Latin or Greek is not required. Offered: AWSpS.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
October 17, 2018 - 9:12pm