3.3 Effective communication to general audience

In Biology 288: Sophomore Seminar, I learned how to write a general audience paper, one that could be appropriately interpreted by individuals that are both familiar with the field and those that are not as knowledgable about scientific disciplines. This paper was my very first general audience paper that I was tasked with writing on a biology topic. Overall, I think that this paper was a good introduction for me but I have definitely grown in my skillset and understanding of how to write these types of papers since then.

Following my experience in Biology 288 with writing a scientific general audience, I was nervous to write another paper like that one, but I knew that I could improve. In Biology 366: Biodiversity & Conservation, I used the case study assignments to become increasingly comfortable with this style of scientific writing. I learned how to write for a general audience by first thinking about how I would communicate the information I had with a family member or friend from a different major/background. General audience papers have to avoid using scientific jargon that might complicate the issue for someone of a different background.

In my Biology 404: Immunology course, I had to develop a therapeutic approach to an immune disease using the information we discussed in class. For this general audience statement, I felt that I was very prepared to write a thorough explanation about how my therapy would work, in a context that could be understood by someone with limited background biology knowledge. Today, when I write general audience papers I will write a rough draft and then pass it to my roommate and see if she can understand what I am trying to communicate and she will tell me what needs to be clarified for her.