When I began the “METHODS” assignment, I initially underestimated how much work it would be. In terms of most things, I am not very detail-oriented, and this project required high levels of attention to detail. In addition to that complication, I encountered a few random obstacles. It was actually more difficult than I had imagined to find a spider on campus in the first place. I looked in several corners and crevices indoors, before I finally headed outdoors and found one nested in its web on a plant pot outside of a central building on campus. When I was doing my write up initially, I was describing things pretty vaguely, jotting down my description as the way that I had the steps listed in my head. However, as I edited it and tried to think about it from an outsiders perspective, I realized that I was missing several details that were necessary for someone following my methods to get to the right place to find the spider. The way that I recalled things in my head was not naturally that detailed, although I did remember the details, I would not originally think of saying them, so I had to focus extra on that. I tried to put in every detail that I could think of so that the person following in my Methods would be able to obtain similar results. This is very important in a scientific Methods section: replicability is key. If a person cannot utilize a scientific methods section to repeat the experiment, the results cannot be tested a second time and thus cannot be verified. Even after adding all of the details that I could think of, when one of my classmates repeated my experiment there were still some differences between their end product and mine due to a few key details missing from my Methods that I had not thought of. In the end, this project really taught me and reiterated the importance of a very detailed scientific Methods section. I learned that the more detail, the better.
My teammates and I underestimated how much planning we should have done when working on the PROPOSAL. We did spend a solid amount of time doing the actual writing, but we did not read enough into how our PROPOSAL should be written so that we could plan accordingly. We did not read enough into how each section should be structured, and we did not collect enough background information before we started writing it. Our abstract ended up being much too long and our background information section was much too short. Our paragraphs were also not structured very well. We were a bit surprised when we got a grade lower than what we wanted, but looking back we had done a lot of things incorrectly and not planned well. It was unfortunate, but it it drove us to put a lot of extra effort into the PROJECT and learn from our mistakes.