For my final post of the semester I decided to reflect on one of the challenges that many engineering students have (including me): we don’t particularly like writing. This has been a struggle and I came to realize how big it is for me when I started this class. In my experience, this originates from focusing so much on technical analysis, charts, numbers, and viewing writing as a secondary part of our studies that we just have to do later. I often find myself writing in a very concise way, if journal papers could just be turned into bullet points, I won’t say no – well ok I might be exaggerating here.
So this is something that I have been working on to eventually overcome. I read a few articles that discuss the issue of disliking writing and sucking at it, especially among engineers. I want to share some of the steps that this article* mentions which I found helpful:
- Find a place to write articles. This class has been perfect for this as an opportunity to write.
- Think about your audience. This point was very helpful in writing manuscripts because it helps with expanding on certain parts of the text that I usually used to keep short because I assumed that the readers already know the basics which is not always right. This helped a lot with the writing flow.
- Start a journal.
- Outline the work before starting to write. Having structure is very helpful.
- Take breaks between writing an editing. This is my favorite because I used to try to edit as I write which was negatively impacting my productivity. Now I think of it as putting two different hats; a writer and an editor. Doing it on steps is much better than trying to get it right from the first time!
Please let me know if you have experienced this. Do you know any other ways to get better at writing?