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CLAS 205 B: Bioscientific Vocabulary Building From Latin And Greek

Classics 205: Bioscientific Vocabulary Building From Latin And Greek

Clas 205 text
Meeting Time: 
MWF 8:30am - 9:20am
DEN 259
Marie La Fond
Diana holding up a puppy and smiling
Diana Molkova

Syllabus Description:

Classics 205, a popular 3-credit course option for all students, is especially useful for those whose main interests are in STEM subjects or who intend to enter the medical field.  The course is designed to help the student master the scientific and technical vocabulary of his or her particular field, with particular reference to the biological sciences, through a study of the Latin and Greek roots used to create the majority of scientific terms.  Knowledge of Latin or Greek is not required.

CLAS 205 – Bioscientific Vocabulary (Spring 2020)

Section B: MWF 8:30 AM–9:20 AM, DEN 259



Instructor: Marie La Fond                                            Office: Denny Hall 400K via Zoom

E-mail:                                                  Office Hours: M 3-4PM, W 4-5PM, F 12-                                                                                         1PM and by appointment

Mailbox: Classics Dept. Office, Denny 262               Department Phone: (206) 543-2266


Department Course Coordinator:

Professor Alain 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.), W​ebster’s New World Dictionary, or The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) (available free online on the UW Libraries website).
  • Online resources:
    Google dictionary (google “define + word”)
    Online Etymology Dictionary (
    Merriam-Webster Dictionary (

Course Aims: 


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.

A CAVEAT: 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.


Course Conduct:


This class will consist of prerecorded lectures disseminated to you via Canvas. Materials discussed and shown in screencasts during these lectures will also be posted to Canvas. It is your responsibility to ensure that you keep up with the lectures.


University conduct and scholarly integrity codes should be followed at all times. I cannot discuss grades via e-mail due to university policy, only during office hours and by appointment. If you have questions regarding assignments, tests, or any other matter, I am more than happy to meet with you via Zoom. 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


E-mail policy: I will try to be as responsive as possible to e-mail correspondence, but please allow 24 hours for me to answer e-mails from Monday to Friday. During weekends, I may not be available to answer e-mails.




Quizzes: Your daily assignment is to memorize the vocabulary for that day (as listed on the syllabus schedule below) prior to watching the class lecture. To help you stay on track with memorization, there are 5 homework assignments in the format of Canvas quizzes that consist of vocabulary items from recent readings. They are open-note and are each worth 10 points.


Group activity: To foster connection and collaboration despite the current physical isolation, this course includes a group activity worth 10 points. You will receive more information about this group activity later in the quarter (see schedule below for date).


Tests: There will be three tests, worth 85 points each, given over the course of the quarter (see schedule below for dates). Make-up opportunities will be given only due to a legitimate issue, (e.g. family emergency, religious or cultural obligation, court date), and then only if the student promptly e-mails me to reschedule.


Final Exam: The final exam for this course is essentially a fourth test; it is worth 85 points and is NOT cumulative. The final exam is officially scheduled for Tuesday, June 9th, 2020 from 8:30 AM to 10:20 AM. Due to the unusual circumstances, the final exam will be administered over Canvas, will be available from Tuesday, June 9th at 8:30AM to Wednesday, June 10th at 11:00PM, and will have a 90-minute time limit. Final Examination Guidelines, including policy on ‘unavoidable absence’:


Bonus points: Extra credit opportunities will be offered in this course. All extra credit points will be ‘banked’ for use toward the student’s overall point total for the course.








Grading breakdown:

Quizzes: 5 x 10 = 50 points

Group activity: 10 points

Tests: 3 x 85 = 255 points

Final Exam: 85 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 (3/30-4/3)




Lesson 1

Lessons 2-3

Week 2 (4/6-4/10)

Lessons 4-5



Lessons 6-7

Lesson 8

Week 3 (4/13-4/17)


Lesson 9 & Review


TEST 1 (1-9)


Lessons 10-11

Week 4 (4/20-4/24)

Lessons 12-13



Lessons 14-15

Start Group Work

Lessons 16-17

Week 5 (4/27-5/1)


Lessons 18-19


Group Work Due

Lesson 20 & Review

TEST 2 (10-20)

Week 6 (5/4-5/8)

Lessons 21-22



Lessons 23-24

Lessons 25-26

Week 7 (5/11-5/15)


Lessons 27-28


Lessons 29-30



Week 8 (5/18-5/22)

TEST 3 (21-30)



Lessons 31-32

Lessons 33-34

Week 9 (5/25-5/29)


(Memorial Day)



Lessons 35-36

Lessons 37-38

Week 10 (6/1-6/5)

Lesson 39



Lesson 40




Final Exam: from Tuesday, June 9th, 2020 at 8:30 AM to Wednesday, June 10th, 2020 at 11:00 PM (90-minute time limit)



*I reserve the right to modify the syllabus.*



Additional Details:

Please note that FOUR sections of this class are offered in Spring Quarter '20 as follows:

   12227 A  3       MWF    830-920    SMI  107      Molkova,Diana              Open      0/  30                      
                        NO AUDITORS                                                                                                                                         
                        NO OVERLOADS                                                                                                                                        
       12228 B  3       MWF    830-920    DEN  259      La Fond,Marie              Open      0/  30                      
                        NO AUDITORS                                                                                                                                         
                        NO OVERLOADS                                                                                                                                        
       12229 C  3       MWF    930-1020   SMI  311      Molkova,Diana              Open      0/  30                      
                        NO AUDITORS                                                                                                                                         
                        NO OVERLOADS                                                                                                                                        
       12230 D  3       MWF    930-1020   SMI  307      La Fond,Marie              Open      0/  30                      
                        NO AUDITORS                                                                                                                                         
                        NO OVERLOADS                                                                       
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: 
February 12, 2020 - 10:46am