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CLAS 205 A: Bioscientific Vocabulary Building From Latin And Greek

Bioscientific Vocabulary Building
Meeting Time: 
MWF 8:30am - 9:20am
DEN 258
Diana holding up a puppy and smiling
Diana Molkova

Syllabus Description:

CLAS 205A — Bioscientific Vocabulary

Winter 2019, MWF 8.30-9.20, DEN 258


Instructor: Diana Molkova                         


Mailbox: Classics Dept. Office, Denny 262

Office: Denny Hall 400K

Office Hours: MW 11.00-12.00 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.



The UW's Religious Accommodations Policy: “Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accommodations Policy (Links to an external site.). Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form (Links to an external site.).”

The UW's Student Conduct Code: "The University of Washington Student Conduct Code (WAC 478-121) defines prohibited academic and behavioral conduct and describes how the University holds students accountable as they pursue their academic goals. Allegations of misconduct by students may be referred to the appropriate campus office for investigation and resolution. More information can be found online at" (Links to an external site.)

Access and Accommodation: Your experience in this class is important to me. If you have already established accommodations with Disability Resources for Students (DRS), please communicate your approved accommodations to me at your earliest convenience so we can discuss your needs in this course.

If you have not yet established services through DRS, but have a temporary health condition or permanent disability that requires accommodations (conditions include but not limited to; mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts), you are welcome to contact DRS at 206-543-8924 or or  (Links to an external site.)DRS offers resources and coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities and/or temporary health conditions.  Reasonable accommodations are established through an interactive process between you, your instructor(s) and DRS.  It is the policy and practice of the University of Washington to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law.

Academic Integrity: University of Washington students are expected to practice high standards of academic and professional honesty and integrity as outlined here:




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.


Participation: Active classroom participation is important. The first step in participating in class is regularly attending. Beyond simply showing up, I expect everyone both to be prepared and to actively participate in class discussions and activities. Consistent participation in class counts for 10 points.


Tests: There will be four tests, worth 85 points each, given over the course of the quarter. The last test will be held on the day of the final (Tuesday, March 17, 8.30-9.20 in DEN 258) but is not cumulative. 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.


Bonus points: Bonus points will be offered on each of the tests. 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:

Homework: 5 x 10 = 50 points

Tests: 4 x 85 = 340 points

Participation: 10 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 (1/6-1/12)



Lesson 1

Lessons 2 and 3

Week 2 (1/13-1/19)

Lessons 4 and 5



Lessons 6 and 7

Lesson 8

Week 3 (1/20-1/26)



Lesson 9

TEST 1 (1-9)

Week 4 (1/27-2/2)

Lessons 10 and 11



Lessons 12 and 13

Lesson 14

Week 5 (2/3-2/9)

Lessons 15 and 16



Lessons 17 and 18

Lessons 19 and 20

Week 6 (2/10-2/16)

TEST 2 (10-20)


Lesson 21

Lessons 22 and 23

Week 7 (2/17-2/23)



Lessons 24 and 25

Lesson 26 and 27


Week 8 (2/24-3/1)

Lessons 28 and 29

Lesson 30

TEST 3 (21-30)


Week 9 (3/2-3/8)

Lessons 31 and 32

Lessons 33 and 34

Lessons 35 and 36

Week 10 (3/9-3/15)

Lessons 37 and 38

Lesson 39

Lesson 40


Final Test: Tuesday, March 17, 8.30-9.20 in DEN 258



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, 2019 - 8:41am