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Starting out in this class, I thought that writing in STEM was going to be about learning

how to write with technical language, and to understand when to use it. I wasn’t able to fully
understand how important it is to consider your audience when you are writing anything, because
chances are if you aren’t paying attention to your audience, they will not pay attention to you.
Although some of my assumptions were right, I realized quickly that I would be learning how to
communicate in all ways in the professional world. Whether you are communicating to a whole
company or writing a simple email to your work associate, we learned that by understanding our
audience and purpose we could make sure we could get our point across in a clear and concise
way.
Learning how to read our audience in order to convey our message effectively was a very
important lesson for writing in STEM. We learned that the larger the audience the more concise
the message, because chances are, they won’t want to read what you are writing and may only
skim it. Whereas with a smaller audience, you may be trying to convey a more specific message
that needs more information, for example writing to your team about a project you are all
working on. It is also important to consider the audience’s background on the topic; there is a
large difference with writing to a marketing team versus an engineering team. We explored this
concept when we compared different journals in our major. I found that the most technical
articles were the ones written by journals with a smaller audience while ones like Scientific
American may be technical, but are writing to a much larger audience. When you write to a
larger audience, you have to make sure their readers are able to understand what the articles are
trying to say. By understanding the audience, it becomes easier to understand the purpose you
are trying to make. What I found I needed the most help on was making sure my messages were
concise, but would still deliver the purpose. For example, for a couple assignments we were
asked to write a memo which happens to be much shorter than a regular essay. Through this
assignment I made sure to make my purpose clear and concise and would add headers when I
found I was trying to convey multiple purposes. Before this class, I wouldn’t spend as much time
thinking about what specific goals I was trying to achieve or what parts I may need to leave out.
We spent a significant portion of our class learning about locating and evaluating credible
sources. Being able to understand what made a credible source proved to be very interesting
because in this day we have more fake news stories than real ones. We found that by comparing
media sources to scientific sources that the media sources would often have a bias and would
leave out information that would not support their side. In class, we looked at a couple articles
about the fasting diet. It was interesting to see how the scientific source made sure to mention
that although they made some conclusions there were multiple factors that could affect one’s
diet, how fast they lose weight, and how long they will maintain this lifestyle. On the other hand,
the media article mentioned only the positives of fasting and the results of the study, which could
leave the reader confused when they don’t lose weight by only changing the time they eat at.
As a computer science major, I have had the opportunity to intern for the past two years
and will soon be starting my first job. Communication has been an extremely important of being
able to secure these opportunities along with completing many of the projects I have worked on.
Last summer, I had the opportunity to write a technical article about the project I was working on
but was too overwhelmed at what I would include and how technical I needed to be. Although I
ended up only contributing a little to the article, I feel that after this class I would be able to write
many of my own. Furthermore, I believe that by putting more efforts into the emails and chat
messages I send to my team, my boss, and other coworkers, I will be able to form better
relationships and make a better impression.
Overall, this class has helped me take a little more time in understanding what I am
writing, who I am writing to, and how this information will be useful. This class has proved to be
extremely beneficial to me and I believe it will be a great help in securing my job for when I
graduate, and becoming more successful when I enter the workplace through my communication.