When shouldn’t scientific method be used?

I’ve been giving you informal writing prompts for several weeks. Today, I have a formal writing prompt suitable for high school juniors and seniors and for first-year college students.

The prompt requires students to use information from outside the English curriculum to which all students should have exposed by the time they reach high school. If you’re an English teacher reluctant to have students write on a topic that sounds like it belongs in the science curriculum, you could partner with someone on the science faculty to assign a paper that can be turned in for credit in either or both courses.

The prompt

Identify three questions in your major field for which the scientific method is entirely inappropriate. In your response, discuss at least two characteristics of the scientific method and explain precisely why each of those characteristics makes the scientific method an inappropriate way to investigate each of those three questions.

Please confine your response to no more than 650 words.

Notes on the prompt

Responding to this prompt is easy once students get over the shock of being asked to identify questions in their major field. They may never have thought of physical education or ceramics as fields that have questions. Writing the actual response should take no more than an hour once they identify some questions in their fields.

© 2021 Linda Gorton Aragoni