Writing in Science
In high school, I didn’t have to write that much or that well. I knew that the transition from high school to college-level writing would be hard and my fear about the switch pushed me toward the natural sciences. The first few science classes I took in college were happily writing free, but now that I’ve moved into higher level courses, I’ve had to learn the rules for writing in science.
Writing for biology is formulaic. I think the idea is to distance the scientist from the science so that the results of an experiment can be pure and True. I enjoy writing like this because the rules are clear and easy to follow. When I turn in a lab report, I don’t feel like I will be judged by my word choice or sentence structure but rather my ability to explain and interpret an experiment and its data. My comfort with writing for science classes is derived from access to online databases that store science papers. I cannot imagine having to write a lab report without instant access to the entirety of biological research. When I’m confused about a term or protocol that I have to explain in a lab report, I can just look up another paper that explains it. The databases make the logical and incremental nature of biology research readily apparent and I feel safe writing for such a structured discipline. I imagine that the regimented writing style that science disciplines demand squelches creativity (and to some extent progress) within the discipline, but the structure makes the writing process much more pleasant for me.