Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Writing the Module 1 Abstract and Data Summary

Writing the Module 1 Abstract and Data Summary was very challenging.  It was the first time I had written a report for a scientific experiment that I had done.  In high school when we did science fair experiments, the “report” we had to submit was basically just a poster or a Powerpoint on the results we got and some simple materials and methods list.  Also, the science fair experiments were so much simpler than this experiment we did in module 1.  Rather than just spitting out the results we got from our experiments, we had to analyze the data and think in the grand scheme of things for module 1.  The results of our experiments had a real-world application.

When writing the report for module 1, I found that interpreting the data was much easier and quicker to write than writing the abstract, background and motivation, and implications and future works.  For these three written sections, I had to figure out how to best deliver information in the most concise fashion, especially because I was using a bullet point format.  I found myself many times just sitting at the computer thinking about how to say something in a concise way.  In hind sight, I think I should have just put pen to paper earlier so that I could get as much information out earlier, and then edit it to make it more concise.  For next module, I’ll try this method and see if I can write these sections in a more time efficient manner.

Regarding managing time, I tried to start writing the abstract and data summary as early as possible because I read a blog post about how one student from last semester really regretted starting the report one day before it was due.  I was able to start it on the Friday before it was due, but I still worked up to the last minute on Monday until 4:56 pm.  From first-hand experience, I can see why the student from last semester regretted starting it the day before.

All said and done, this report forced me to think critically about the experiments that we had done.  I am glad we completed the report in pieces before submitting the report (electrophoresis gel and schematic) because it definitely saved time while working on the report.  I also found it helpful to receive constant feedback on the assignments I submitted.  However with this report done now, I am excited for spring break!

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