My introductory class, BIOL 251, Intro to Ecology and Evolution, was one of the first times I was introduced to general audience writing in the biology field. While we did not physically write a general audience paper in this class, I had the opportunity to read and analyze one during a lab. We read a New York Times article on the bird population decline in America. After reading the general audience article, each person in the class presented a slide to the class explaining what we learned from the article, compared to what we were used to reading, a formal research paper. It was interesting to hear other people’s perspectives on the paper and what they found to be most helpful when writing one!
In BIOL 301, Comprehensive Anatomy and Physiology, one of the first projects I did was an analysis of everyone’s fingerprints in the class to determine if one type of fingerprint was more popular than others. From the results, instead of writing a research paper, we wrote a general audience paper to reach a greater audience than just science disciplines. Since I had already done a general audience paper in 288, it came more easily for me to write, but it was still hard to use different word choices than I was used to when writing a research paper. Overall, I think I learned a lot from writing this general audience paper and I will be able to apply the critiques I got to future papers.