When I initially heard of the methods project at the beginning of the course, I thought that it was going to be a lot of work. And while I found this to be true, I also learned a number of valuable skills that I didn’t have prior. For instance, the construction of the figure using Inkscape. In the past I would construct all of my figures and graphical elements for reports in Microsoft Paint, but after finishing the methods project I felt much more comfortable using the more advanced Inkscape. In addition, the actual process of writing everything that I did explicitly made me appreciate how detailed a methods section needs to be. If you are expecting repeatability for your experiment, then it it imperative that you include all of the relevant details. This was demonstrated by having another student in the class attempt to recreate my figure based only on the methods that I wrote. In my case, my figure was recreated with few errors, but there still were some areas that could have used more clarity in my methods section. It was really neat to see what the other person came up with, as well as comparing my replicate to the original. Overall, this project taught me a great deal about methods writing and will most certainly help me with writing scientific papers down the road.
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Each week, post your own Perfect Paragraph and comment on three Perfect Paragraphs. Suggest improvements. Don't just say "Looks good."
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