The course of Advanced Writing in the Disciplines has taught me to write articles, conduct research, as well as revising drafts. I accomplished these tasks with the help of learning goals, ranging from communication in the process of learning to citation of appropriate resources. During this course, I have left behind previous skills of writing essay consisting of not more than five paragraphs and learned how to comprehend difficult scientific articles and implement various writing ideas. While completing four units, I learned how to be a speaker, listener, reader as well as editor.
1. Learning and communicating the acquired material.
This was my goal while accomplishing all four units. I have learnt how to communicate professionally. I have acquired skills in a wide range of education material, starting from evaluating a journal and ending with writing an article for a magazine. Theory is an essential part in understanding new material; however, its practical application has much greater value. In Unit 3, I communicated my knowledge while elaborating a project memory to the staff of MicroFab Technologies Inc. whereas in Unit 4, I communicated my understanding of additive manufacturing technologies to the readers of The New York Times. In Unit 4, I wrote, "Additive manufacturing technologies allow producing different goods with complex geometry with the help of effective and efficient use of raw materials with a minimal level of waste." I provided the readers with information on how I understood additive manufacturing.
Writing and thinking are substantially bound. The obtained information about different writing forms and genres, including translation, profile, review, user manual, lab instructions, process document, memo, or project summary will serve as an essential guide for completing a writing task in the future. Writing is an act of communication with the public. For this reason, we always communicate the acquired information in the process of learning to other people. This is done not just for achieving purposes, but also for enriching experience of other people.
2. Negotiation of writing goals and audience expectations regarding conventions of genre, medium, and situation.
Audience plays a crucial role in the choice of writing genre, medium or situation. This goal highlights the significance of understanding the audience expectations. It means that knowing the audience before writing makes the very process of writing much easier as it simplifies the decisions students are to make. Moreover, writing for a specific audience involves readers in the proposed argument more directly. A student should recognize the potential readers and tailor his or her writing according to their expectations. Therefore, for each unit I defined a target audience.
In Unit 1, I wrote, "target audience of this discourse community includes researchers interested in advancing in operations management and supply chain management, and practitioners who need to be updated on matters regarding operations management." In Unit 4, memo specifies, "The audience of this article includes frequent readers of The New York Times and intellectual readers exploring the science section." Here, I chose readers who were interested in current events, technology or science. The first sentence of the translation serves as a hook to raise the readers' interest, "A few decades ago, the process of dental restorations, mainly the production of bridges and implants, used exclusively a lost-wax technology." A context memo as a part of the paper describes the details necessary to understand the article.
Unit 3, on the other hand, has two different target audiences. The first part of the paper including context memo addressed the AWD class while the second one including a project summary referred to the working staff of MicroFab Technologies Inc. Therefore, I applied a different writing style according to the preferences of the audience. In the context memo, I provided definitions of such terms as additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping. However, in the project summary, I did not include these terms as the company specialized in the design of micro dispensing with the help of ink-jet technology and fully understood the meaning of these terms. Furthermore, I changed a tone from one part of the document to the other as the relationship between the author and audience significantly changed. I wrote the context memo in a clear and concise language and used short but direct sentences and paragraphs. The memo had bulleted lists for drawing the readers' attention and making the information easy to understand and navigate. However, the project summary had a much more formal tone.
This goal will be, perhaps, the leading one while writing for a different audience. Understanding the core expectations of potential readers is half of success. I will apply knowledge gained during this course in my further writing choices.
3. Revision of writing using responses from others, including peers, consultants, and teachers.
Revision refers to a stage in the writing process where the author reviews, alters, or amends the document in accordance with what was written in the draft. It means re-seeing or re-envisioning the purpose, structure or style of the document. To revise a document means to restructure it, eliminate unnecessary, abandoned or irrelevant details or information, add appropriate details, including paragraphs or sentences or rewrite or clarify them. With the purpose of completing this learning goal, students should engage in various aspects of revision, mainly class revision, peer reviews or peer review responses. They should also create a revision plan laying out the changes necessary to make to the drafts.
I received peer reviews of my first drafts for three units. The revisions included comments from Wilson, Professor Connell, Sean and Kevin. I responded to each of the peer reviews in my section "Response to Peer Review." I carefully read all comments to the first drafts and thoughtfully responded to each of them. I also indicated whether or not I would take into account those comments preparing my final draft. I noticed that peer review partners suggested using simpler language so that the audience would not experience difficulty in comprehending technical terms or processes. All comments were very helpful and played a crucial role in accomplishing my final draft. I used all suggestions in order to make the final draft easy to navigate and easy to understand by non-expert audience.
It was interesting for me to return to my first draft, make it polished, clear and well-structured, as well as making changes described in the Revision Plan. Revision Plan included a concise and specific list of all things necessary to work on when writing the final draft. It made the whole process of writing much easier.
Moreover, I believe these comments will help me to avoid common mistakes while writing different documents in the future. Hence, I always proofread my messages or reports while writing an email or monthly report. Moreover, when I read articles published in a magazine or newspaper, I always try to revise it and take something to myself. I try to understand what choices I would have made if I had had to write this article or report.
How It Works
4. Generation and pursue of inquiry lines and search, collection, and selection of sources appropriate to the writing projects.
Writing an article, project or even report requires the use of appropriate resources. For this reason, students should have excellent skills of finding useful and proper information or details. I searched for scholarly articles for accomplishing provision of first drafts to all four units. Articles serve as excellent resources for various academic and scholar researches. Most articles could be found in journals, magazines or newspapers. These articles cover a wide range of topics, from everyday life to technology. Scholarly and peer-reviewed journals contain articles written by experts. Therefore, the information in these journals is usually highly sophisticated as authors assume that the audience already knows the basics of a chosen subject. Students should understand that the data necessary to be collected depends on the key evaluation questions, mainly qualitative and quantitative data. Students should know what citation sources are relevant and not use illegitimate sources, for example, Wikipedia.
In Unit 2 and 4, I searched for scholarly articles on additive manufacturing in peer-reviewed journals including International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, The Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering, International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Journal of Medical Engineering & Technology, and Medical Engineering & Physics. In these journals, I was looking for articles on additive manufacturing, which would correspond to my topic. Then, I found the rate of citing of the chosen articles by other authors for identifying their relevance by means of such web search engines as Google Scholar and Web of Science. However, for Unit 2 and 4 I used different language for communicating the same message concerning the importance of additive manufacturing in medicine. In Unit 4, I used simpler language by writing "Have you known that one of the earliest applications of additive manufacturing technologies in bioengineering was in the areas of orthotics and ergonomics?"
I must admit that I will always pursue this goal in the process of further writing as it helps to understand where, what and for what find relevant information.
5. Effective use and appropriate citation of sources in writing.
The goal means that each student should learn how to format correctly a document according to an appropriate citation convention. A student should also know what sources are appropriate to cite and which ones he or she should avoid. In Units 2 and 4, I formatted first drafts according to APA citation convention. APA (an abbreviation for American Psychological Association) is a style that is most commonly used for citing sources within the social sciences.
For accomplishing Units 2 and 4, I studied the required techniques of citation. I searched for APA citation style referring to the rules and conventions developed by the American Psychological Association in order to document sources used in various research papers. While completing reference page, I followed the APA documentation style. Moreover, I used this style for formatting in-text citations. I used a small amount of direct quotes. For example, I explained the definition of additive manufacturing by citing Wohlers Associates. I wrote, "the process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing methodologies." In most cases, I paraphrased the idea proposed by authors. For instance, "Giannatsis (2009) argues that rapid prototyping biomodelling of the human soft tissue parts, on the other side, is rather rarely applied in practice." I summarized findings from multiple studies. I should note that this goal helped me to acquire knowledge of APA citation style.
Thus, the course of Advanced Writing in the Disciplines has substantially improved my skills in writing. A wide variety of writing styles, audience, as well as contexts, provided an opportunity to comprehend different aspects of writing. The skills I gained from the course will significantly improve my career path. My work is closely related to additive manufacturing technologies. Therefore, I believe that it would serve as basics for those who are interested in technology in the field of medicine.
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