Make up blog: reflections as a writer

Upon first entering this course I had very different expectations
for the topics this course would address, as well the type of writing I would
be subjected to throughout this semester. I originally expected this to be a
course where you would learn how to properly write a lab report, a research
paper, or something like that. I never considered it would be a writing course
relating to topics like the human connection to nature. Although the course was
different from my initial expectations, I was far from disappointed from the
assignments I came across throughout this class.

Although I was initially ready to dive head first into
this new writing experience, I was quick to find hesitation once the first
major assignment was announced. The first assignment, because it was a personal
narrative, a writing style I almost have zero experience with. With a heavily
science based background I am used to writing objective, research based pieces
as opposed to pieces which require such a personal perspective. This assignment
as well as many others throughout this course gave me a chance to really jump
outside my comfort zone and to expand my skills and perceptions as a writer.
This was also the case with having to have a public blog for this course. My
major consists of many online courses, all of which include a mandatory student
based discussion board element; but all of these are always private discussions
only your classmates will see. And even then most the time only a few people
really look at what you write. This was the first time in my life I have had to
be so public with my writing. While it was unnerving at first, I was grateful
for the experience because I can have no real hope of perusing a science based career
without having to work on some sort of public writing eventually. In relation
to also wanting to work in a science based discipline, I found the peer reviews
in class very helpful since on top of having very little experience sharing my
work I have even less experience assessing others. By assessing the writing of
very talented peers I was better able to understand the effective elements my
own writing lacked.

Throughout this semester I was really able to grasp
some of my weakest points as a writer. Two of the biggest things I was quickly
noted on, was suffering from frequent passive voice, as well as generally weak
writing fundamentals such as grammar. Again, as perspective scientist, suffering
from passive voice can be detrimental for inspiring environmental change. On
top of that having weak grammatical fundamentals not only makes my writing seem
weaker but makes me feel less competent as a writer overall. While I would not
boast myself as a great writer, I would say I have definitely become better
than I was at the beginning of this course.  


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