Thursday, November 13, 2014

Round 2: Easier? No. Better? Yes.

Although I would not say the module 2 paper was easier to complete than the module 1 abstract and data summary, I will say that I felt much better prepared for it and it was nice to have a whole four day weekend to devote to it. Things definitely would not have run as smoothly if I didn’t have the great support of the BE Communications Lab, 109 instructors and my peers.

I met with the Communications Lab to discuss the introduction section of my module 2 paper. I went in specifically for my introduction, but the general advice I received extended to my whole paper. The key concept that was pointed out to me by Jen was the importance of topic sentences. I learned how to write a literature paper long time ago, but writing a scientific paper is very different than a literature paper and somehow (embarrassingly) I forgot that topic sentences should still encompass the whole content of the paragraphs. Jen also gave me a great tip that taking the topic sentences out of the paper and reading the topic sentences alone should tell an almost-coherent story.  

For the rest of my paper, I really could not have done it without my classmates and office hours (thanks Agi and Shannon!). I turned to office hours and my peers for questions such as how many t-tests to run, how to analyze my western blot and even some simple questions about areas of the lab protocols that were a bit confusing to me. It was very nice having the support of the 109 instructors and my classmates to talk things out and overall helped me write a stronger paper.

The Module 2 writing assignment left me with an overall feeling of accomplishment, not necessarily because all of our experiments went according to plan, but because we have learned how to draft a scientific paper. Writing a scientific paper, or even being able to draft one, seemed like a very far-off task until 20.109. I really appreciate all of the guidance and support of 109 instructors, the BE communications lab and my classmates. 

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