Thursday, December 11, 2014

Learning how to write all over again

I feel that I’ve improved leaps and bounds as a science communicator since the start of this semester. I’m still able to recall fairly distinctly the overwhelming feelings I had when faced with starting the Module 1 report. Prior to actually starting on the assignment, I thought it would be a breeze. The topics of Module 1 were things that I had spent months working on through my UROP, and at no time during wet-lab time did I ever feel a dearth of understanding. Actually conveying that understanding and analysis turned out to be a different ball game altogether. One of the hardest parts may have been crafting a narrative for the results, and figuring out how to best put together my figures. I would say that I improved in both of those aspects a great deal as the course went along, and by the time we got to putting together the Module 3 report, I had my game face on and knew exactly what I needed to do. My science writing has become much more concise, which probably now helps with my writing overall.

My introductions and discussions are probably areas I could improve on, as I sometimes assume that implications have been conveyed when I should explicitly delineate those points. My abstracts also sometimes rely a bit too heavily on methods, and not enough on results. While these remain challenges, I’ve certainly improved in those areas, and appreciate the fact that I’m able to identify my shortcomings as opposed to blindly moving through the writing process.

I would probably appreciate more one-on-one time with the writing instructors on the WRAP team, or even one of the lecturers, TAs, or other 20.109 staff, perhaps after the Module 1 report. While I could have signed up for one-on-one meetings, I ended up not attempting to do so most of the time. When I did try, all the appointments had already been booked. This is all something that I could have taken upon myself to accomplish. However, I probably also would not have scheduled a meeting on the presentations had it not been required, and am now immensely grateful for having had that opportunity. Perhaps if I had been required to meet with an instructor on the writing portion, I would have realized the benefit of the resource and utilized it to a greater extent. 

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