The course “Writing for Sciences” has allowed me to significantly increase my ability to synthesize information and present academic writing scientifically in a clear and concise manner. Throughout this course, as demonstrated in my portfolio, I have learned how to approach and write various types of academic papers, ranging from a critical research analysis thesis to lab reports and a biographical exploratory essay. Each presented unique challenges and required an in-depth examination of rhetorical strategies to support an argument and the credibility of the information. The course lectures and feedback provided by the professor have aided in improving my writing style, use of rhetoric language, and integration of academic material into the demonstrated work. This is a necessary skill to obtain considering the realities and demands of any modern academic and professional career.
Academic writing is a collaborative process which encourages cooperation to ensure the best outcome for any produced piece of writing. In this course, I learned to engage with my peers for research, editing, and revision purposes. By receiving feedback and differing perspectives on my writing, I was able to enhance its quality and integrate suggestions that improved the structure of my argument or the information I was attempting to present. In turn, this collaborative social process demonstrated how the targeted audience could perceive writing and what I could change to justify my reasoning.
The areas where I feel I have experienced the most growth are research capabilities and the ability to integrate information into my writing. Research is a complex process that must adhere to guidelines of credibility and accuracy in order to ensure that the information gathered is valid from an academic standpoint. In this course, I increased my knowledge of the use of research databases, ability to evaluate sources, and proper techniques of citation. Furthermore, I am now able to efficiently synthesize and critically analyze information. Competent academic writing should be able to support its argument while demonstrating an understanding of any opposing viewpoints or limitations to research. This is a component of academic writing which emphasizes validity and credibility of the author.
My best example of writing is demonstrated in the position paper where I am able to formulate a solid position on a specific idea. I integrate appropriate sources and rhetoric strategies to support an argument using objective evidence without significant bias. Furthermore, I utilized a competent research strategy and citation conventions of credible academic journal articles. The position paper helped to develop critical thinking and a scientific inquiry on a subject of ethical concern within a relevant medical field. However, there were instances in the course where I struggled to grasp some concepts. I experienced a significant difficulty when writing the lab report. Such scientific writing requires meticulous structure and utterly objective language. The lab report had a different purpose, genre, and audience than that of the position paper. However, this contrast of writing styles helped me to develop the flexibility to effectively communicate through various methods of scientific writing.
Overall, this course has tremendously benefited my writing competence, contributing to personal and academic growth. I have been able to obtain new skills beneficial in academic writing, and actively use them in practice. Receiving feedback from peers and the professor has helped to strengthen areas of weakness in research and writing that I demonstrated at the beginning of the course. This includes organization and structure, evaluation of research, and use of rhetorical strategies to support the presented argument. The course has helped to instill confidence and overcome unique challenges related to academic research and writing for science that will be invaluable for the duration of my career.