Abstract Detail

Education and Outreach

Emry, David [1], Mercader, Rodrigo [2], Reed, Benjamin [3].

Using writing assignments to help students frozen by the fear of criticism and rejection.

Working with undergraduate students over the years we have noticed that intimidation has been one of the greatest stumbling blocks to successful student writing. Until recently, most of our students’ writing experiences had been largely limited to creative writing courses and basic, laboratory reports. While useful, these forms of writing misrepresent the process of scientific writing. In the past, we assumed that simply talking to students about the writing approaches, providing encouragement, and writing “together” would sufficiently reduce the intimidation factor associated with scientific writing. However, it has become increasingly evident that this approach only works with students who are already confident with writing, and many students need to experience early successes in individual aspects of scientific writing before they can even attempt to write a traditional research manuscript. Here we identify a few exercises that we have begun to implement in our courses.  These exercises are designed to break down the writing process into manageable components and reduce intimidation in a formative manner.  We suggest the early and continued use of guided summaries, presentations of primary literature, circumscriptions, micro-reviews, and simplified statistical interpretation. For advanced courses we use mini manuscripts/proposal and inclusive literature discussion groups. Our main suggestions are 1) that these or similar practices be incorporated early in the curriculum to incrementally develop skills that can later be integrated, and 2) that students can see that perfection is an ideal that is rarely, if ever, achieved for any written work.

1 - Washburn University, Biology, 1700 SW College Avenue, Topeka, KS, 66621, United States
2 - Washburn University , Biology, 1700 SW College Avenue, Topeka, KS, 66621, US
3 - Washburn University, Biology, 1700 SW College Avenue, Topeka, KS, 66621, USA

writing strategies

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: EO2, Education and Outreach I: Outreach & Pedagogy
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Thursday, July 30th, 2020
Time: 10:30 AM
Number: EO2003
Abstract ID:842
Candidate for Awards:None

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