Writing in Biology Final Relfection
December 12th 2017
The first project we did this semester I found very difficult at first. I took far too many hours typing out the methods trying to make them as concise and replicable as possible only to find the replica of my figure to be a mess. I left out simple things and probably over explained other things. As frustrating as this was, it was the exact purpose of the methods project. So from a learning standpoint the project did exactly what it was intended to do. Teach us how important it is to specify every detail clearly when writing as a biologist. Aside from the insight gained from this project, I enjoyed it just because we got to go explore campus. It was a nice change of pace in the beautiful weather to be assigned a project that made me go find something that I found interesting and take a picture of it. Similarly it was fun to try and follow Taylor’s instruction and find his plant. It was like a game almost but with a lot more writing. I really enjoyed this first project.
The proposal we felt a little bit more like we knew what we were doing after the methods project. Working in a group definitely was very helpful as often times one group member would catch something I wouldn’t or vice versa. Learning about the planarians and the many possible routes you could go for research with them was awesome. It was cool to be designing an experiment for once as a undergraduate student instead of always following someone else’s. Our group actually ended up getting voted to be the project the whole class did which was both really exciting and intimidating. It took us many extra hours of work perfecting our proposal to work for all the groups that wanted to do it. And also, it was nerve-wracking because if something didn’t work out the way we thought you felt responsible for everyone’s project. It ended up being very rewarding being chosen and was a new experience for all of us kind of leading a research experiment for a large group of people.
This was my favorite part of the semester. At this point, we had done all of the leg work, spent many hours writing and rewriting the proposal, spent time in the lab measuring out planarians, and it was finally time to show off everything we did. Although it was somewhat tedious to maneuver Scribus, it ended up being a very user-friendly software. It was very cool to pick the layout and design this poster board to broadcast everything we had been doing all semester. It really tied together the whole semester and gave us insight into the process a scientist takes when working in research. I felt so proud once we had our final poster printed out. I can only imagine how a team of scientist would feel looking at their final work up on the poster and presenting it. It must be an awesome feeling after what could be years of work.
Writing this reflection right now is putting this whole semester of writing projects into perspective for me. Although I did realize there was flow to the projects while we were going I did not realize exactly how perfectly these projects went from one to another. I really enjoyed doing a class where the projects all relate and flow from one to the next. It makes each individual one feel less daunting because there was a stepping stone from the last project. It also is very realistic because this is how it would be if we were to design a research proposal in real life. The final product was very rewarding. It was awesome to see all of my peers excited about their posters as well. Walking around the room everyone was very proud of their work and interested in everyone else’s.