Monday, March 30, 2009

Dr. Isis scares me...

I'm slightly terrified now. First, because there's a man running around with a lighter, threatening the livelihood of my written word, and second, because of the red marks that will be haunting my dreams until Grad School starts this fall. So, here's a basic breakdown for those who don't know. There's two main types of writing in college: science, and everything else. Science has a particular layout scheme that requires careful thought, articulation, and logic. The same can be said for your basic English paper, but somehow, they are very different. English papers have the thesis, which lays out the next several paragraphs, where you argue your point, or analyze the situation. In a science paper, the thesis lays out your claim, where the rest of the paper is devoted to what you did, how you did it, why you did it, and what it showed. The final bit is normally "why I did this, and what it could mean for the rest of the world". It's the key to getting funded, or showing your funding that you weren't a complete waste of space and money.

Many college students enter the University knowing how to write English papers. They must learn, painfully at times, how to write science papers later in their undergrad career. Many students don't even tackle science papers until their junior, or unfortunately, their senior year.
I actually found the opposite to be true for me-I took so many hard science classes (as opposed to social sciences, those sad, weak, meager little creations...) early on, that I unlearned how to write an English paper. I then took some electives my final undergrad year, where I was forced (painfully) to relearn how to write non-science. I'll probably have a few more bits to say about writing scientific papers, and how to properly read them, after I'm done making myself feel better by cowering at my desk, and reading Nature.


  1. Don't scared, little bug. You're gonna be fine. Just put your pride aside and be open to the fact that we all have a lot to learn and you'll go far.


  2. Social sciences will come back to bite you and BURN those written words of you as well :P especially those of us who know how to do both social science and be an engineer.