New intro

Submitted by srbuckley on Sun, 07/28/2019 - 21:02


In Summer of 2019, as part of a Junior level scientific writing class, I conducted a project to assess my skills in communicating scientific information to a fellow student. I created a multipanel figure of leafminer activity and another student recreated the multipanel figure by following my METHODS section. The differences were catalogued in my DISCUSSION section.  

Thinking about my proposal

Submitted by srbuckley on Sun, 07/28/2019 - 10:43

I am still feeling somewhat unclear about how to go about writing our scientific proposal. I feel like this stuff is almost too vague to me. I don't know why writing has become such a chore for me. Maybe it is just because more is expected of us now. This is no longer ENG 101. I guess I tend to freeze up when stuff isn't easy. I am looking forward to collecting the data and using the software program to make sense of it all. I liked how the panel of graphs we created in class worked. It was interesting to see the arrangement of the axes. I am not as crazy about the topic of leafminers. I hate bugs and have no interest in them. But we were given choices as to what we wanted to do. So it's my own fault that this is what my proposal will be about. I am very glad to have a group to collaborate with though! That is such a good help. I am also interested in revisiting stats again in a more concrete and useful situation. When I took that class, so much of it was theoretical.

New Abstract

Submitted by srabbitt on Sat, 07/27/2019 - 21:50

       In summer 2019, as a part of the junior writing course at the University of Massachusetts Amherst I conducted a project about the importance of clearly written methods section for future researchers to be able to recreate your work in-order to be able to confirm or deny a hypothesis. Another student recreated the multi panel figure by using my methods section. Having no prior knowledge of what the original multi panel figure looked like, designed their figure based on the methods supplied. The replicate figure done in this study had 5 main differences observed between the replicate and the original figures. The differences were in the plant, with size type, color, shape, and location. Since the exact location of the plant was not clear there was too much left for the person replicating the figure to make their own choices. The images of the figure were not consistent because those too had no exact specifications. The location of center of the map was not were the original, this is due to the issue mentioned previously. The issues with in the leaf mines themselves were observed also. The original figure mines moved across veins of the leaves in random patterns however, the replicate mines were liner along the main vein of the leaf. The leaves being different types attracted different leafminer’s which have different feeding patterns. Most of the inconsistencies between the figure would not have occurred if there had been a clear and concise methods section. Writing the methods may be better done as the data is being collected and documented.     

(I coul really use some feedback on this)

Perfect Introduction - Final

Submitted by rmegarry on Sat, 07/27/2019 - 21:12

Science requires specificity and clarity in order to be properly understood and replicated. For a scientific study to be recognized, the work must be able to be replicated with the same results. This facet of scientific research places importance on the record of how the research in any paper was performed.

----This is the introduction of the introduction section so its general short and to the point. Since Ive noticed its a common suggestion, the last sentance does actually transition to the next paragraph about recording process.

Draft - Specific Aims

Submitted by rmegarry on Sat, 07/27/2019 - 21:06

Specific Aims Working Draft


Overall objective: To select different Ulmus species for sampling on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus in order to obtain data on the leaf mining insects that infest them, as well as to help understand the oviposition habits of these insects.


Specific Aim 1. To sample each species of Ulmus present on the UMass Amherst campus, and to survey them for leaf mining insects. In the preliminary work, leaf miners were found inhabiting a resistant Ulmus americana. This leaf miner is likely to be Stigmella Mulltispicata, however, they are only known to predate on Ulmus pumila. We will attempt to screen a sample of each Ulmus species on campus in order to assess the level of predation and locate possible factors.


Specific Aim 2. 


Why is this so hard?

Submitted by srbuckley on Sat, 07/27/2019 - 09:42

I am feeling overwhelmed about figuring out how to revise my rough draft of the methods paper. I always used to feel like I was a fairly decent writer but I no longer feel that way. This reminds me of my class I took for ENG 112 at GCC. There was a paper that I had to write about a story that I wasn't that into. I was allowed to redo one paper. The first time around that I did my paper I got a C as my grade. This was after getting solid A's in my last english course so I was surprised to get such a lackluster grade. But not the end of the world. I just redid and resubmitted the paper. Well I also got a C on my second time around and it was very frustrating to me. The professor had very high expectations. My following grades were better but I still didn't see an A. The last writing assignment also included doing some research. I spent DAYS going over this paper. Much of that time was spent sitting paralyzed at my computer trying to figure out where to begin or how to get my point across. The professor looked at my rough draft and said,"Yes!! This is exactly the kind of work I am looking for!". Well it was good to know that there was a way to impress this guy! But the time I needed to perfect that paper was out of the scope of what is usually doable for me. I don't think I am going to be able to make this Methods paper what it needs to be. I actually hate writing classes at this point although I do see their value and the reasons why I need to do them. But math and physics so much more straightforward. I think I prefer that.


Submitted by srabbitt on Sat, 07/27/2019 - 08:58

I have been struggling with attempting to re-write my methods project paper. The biggest issue is changing the methods is would require an entirely new study. My poorly written methods section is the reason that the figures were not the same, nothing more. However, when I attempt to say this in the discussion I cannot use the correct language to properly describe this. THe 6+ hours that I have spent on my corrections seem to have made it worse (at least what I read) and I find myself returning to my original conclusion that by failing to properly write my methods the entire project is a failure.


Submitted by srabbitt on Fri, 07/26/2019 - 22:15

The more I write the worse it becomes. The more I try to fix what I wrote the less clear it is. Refering to the book is useless because what the book is saying the comments on my paper are very different. What is the point of the abstrct? It seems that I may have just used the enitre results section instead of a abstract. I guess in my limited education I thought that a summery was not very detailed but just an overview of whats the main article/story was about. Apperantly that is not the case. 

Proposal Projects

Submitted by nstockbridge on Fri, 07/26/2019 - 19:14

This week the class started working on proposal projects about the leaf miner Stigmella Multispicata taking root in a new host the American Elm. Our group is going to be focusing the research on the symmetry of leaves with careful measurements. On top of checking in the known host Siberian Elms and the new host America Elms we will be checking a few branches from all 15 types of elm on campus. We believe this can give us insight into why the leaf miner picks the leaves it does and a potential correlation for future host it may invade with similar leaf structures.

Perfect Abstract

Submitted by rmegarry on Fri, 07/26/2019 - 08:18

In science, a study must be reproducible in order to be considered valid. As part of a Junior Writing Class, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, I conducted a project to understand what affects the reproducibility of experiments. I looked to create a complex multi-panel figure, write the methodology, have a different person carry out the methods, record the differences, and identify factors that may have contributed to the differences observed. Certain aspects, such as the composition of the figure, were highly documented and detailed, while others, such as equipment used and general details of how the photo was taken, were left out or poorly described. Of the 26 recorded differences, 4 were caused by a change to the experiment site, 5 were attributed to the difference in equipment used, 2 were caused by a lack of description, and the remaining 15 were caused by descriptive or interpretive differences.

Authors Note - My only qualm it the ending I feel like it stops suddenly but since its not an English paper.. I feel like its supposed to?


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