Thursday, October 9, 2014

A tirade on concision

Every person who has ever met me knows I'm talkative. My teacher evaluations throughout elementary and middle school usually went along the lines of, "Melodi is a great student, but she talks too much during class." I have grown and matured a lot since my primary school days, but that love of talking has stayed with me throughout the years. And with Module 1, it became my downfall.

The drafts for my Module 1 methods and results sections were chock-full of redundant information because I couldn't stop myself from writing. Looking back, it's almost as if for every place there should have been a period, there were 10 more words instead. Clearly, this habit is not one that is conducive for scientific writing.

Therefore, the most difficult part this module for me was not creating figures, doing statistical analysis, nor performing the experiments themselves, but rather deleting this extra information. This challenge was made harder by the fact that I have a fairly Type A personality and was constantly worried that every time I tried to shorten a sentence, I also deleted some crucial information about the experiment that was important to the paper. I attended almost every office hours that was held during the paper-writing parts of this module, and each session consisted of Shannon and Noreen showing me how to cut out words. It seemed like most of our meetings went something along these lines:

The most frustrating part of these meetings was that I usually could see their comments coming. I could tell that many of my sentences were superfluous -- it's why I went to office hours in the first place -- but without someone there to confirm my suspicions, I couldn't manage to get rid of anything. Whether that was due to fear or due to my innate tendency to keeping talking has yet to be determined. Going forward into Module 2, my goal is to learn how to top things off with a period.


  1. Best of luck to you in your endeavours, Melodi!

  2. You're not the only one! :P I'm hoping (and relatively sure) that it'll get better with practice. Your blog post was really concise though.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.