Self-Assessment

Over the course of the semester I was challenged in many different ways. I was a new seed in the forest of scholarly scientific work. I have had many bouts with complex ideas and reasoning using evidence and rhetorical situations but I have never used my writing to explain and express my understanding of scientific work. Although it was a battle at first learning the new techniques and studying the do’s and dont’s of scientific writing, it was an experience that taught me a lot. The entire writing process from analyzing to editing is a battle of wit and endurance. You are aware of the steps and actions you must take to achieve your desired effect, but you are also aware of the work that you must do to achieve it. However, if you do keep climbing the mountain you will become accustomed to its unforgiving trek.

There were many course learning objectives that were apart of this course, many were foreign to me but a great asset as well. I believe that I accomplished many of the objectives and struggled with a few, but they were all very important to my growth as a writer over the course of this semester. I was required to explore a diversity of science writing and scholarly work, genres like informative review and positions papers, while at the same time effectively analyzing them and their rhetorical situations to reinforce my writing of that genre. I was aware of the style of a persuasive paper but have never thought of concessions which helped me understand rhetorical situations to a greater extent than I did before. I learned a lot about the procedure of writing each of my papers step by step. I read quite a few scientific articles and papers which I had to effectively analyze and with the information that I gathered, I drafted the start of my papers. After drafting I learned the importance of peer collaboration for its ability to ridden my paper of grammatical errors and improper usage of words. This was doubled up with my own revising and topped off with editing any of the mistakes I had exercised. Before starting the journey of writing my paper I had to design it with blueprints of my goals and audience expectations. I had to correctly guild my writing in the direction of my audience depending on whether I was writing to a primary audience in which I could be less basic with scientific vocabulary while for secondary audience (which were the general public and not scholarly scientists) I had to be more concrete with my definitions and explain basic conventions of the topic I was addressing. If I were to write to a secondary audience I would write an informative review paper while to a primary audience I would write a position paper. I also had to use different kinds of rhetorical strategy with both audience as well. Like for a primary audience I would use more concessions since they are already aware of the topic and probably have their own opinions, while with a secondary audience I would use more basic rhetorical situations.

During the time where I had to search for scholarly articles during my writing process, I learned plenty and practiced efficient techniques to finding articles that would help me in my essays. They had to be credible in order for my paper to hold any kind of worth in my research, accurate and (with my understanding of rhetorical situations) I had to be able to identify any kind of bias. All my cited work was located in the CUNY Library system using onesearch. These sources helped me plentiful in the process of my writing as they helped me build my arguments, synthesis and effected my interpretation of the topic.

All of what I learned during the course was essential to the amount of growth I observed from my writing this semester. It is important to know how to write for scientific writing, one because I am majoring in Psychology which is a field of a vast amount of scientific knowledge and scholarly works, and two because if you know how scientific knowledge is built and you understand its different parts then you will be able to read any kind of bias that is being hidden. I learned that  their are many ways to sway an audience perception on a specific topic and I learned that their are sneaky ways to do this as well. I learned that writing can be affected by funding especially experiments which can lead to biased reports or false research. I also learned that writing can take many forms, I ventured into genres in which I never had before and I believe that this exposure led to to the improvement of my writing. These are all examples of how my perception of writing changed and also how I improved from the challenges that I was given but there are areas that I feel like I did not progress enough. I believe that I exported plenty of information from the articles that I retrieved but their were some parts in the article that I felt were really strong but I was not able to clearly understand what was being said in it let alone be able to effectively use it into my own work. Scientific writing can be very heavy at times and understanding the complex ideas involved in some work is another battle on its own. Although I was not able to analyze it as much as I would like, I believe more exposure of scientific writing will lead to stronger analyzing skills.

I have profound joy that I made the decision in taking Writing for the Sciences as it gave me the tools that I need to continue my studies in the sciences. I have achieved much but compared to the heights I will reach with what I have learned, it is very little. I always thought that I had all the skills I needed for writing but during the course I have learned that there are many skills that I have not learned. Exposure to different environments can be very beneficial as long as you have a knowledgeable guide leading you.