When we began posting in January I did not know what I was going to write about, had written nothing but formal papers since 8th grade, and the thought of putting my work out there for public comment was petrifying. While overall, the experience proved to be a fantastic, there certainly were weeks where I wondered what I had gotten myself into.
As I was reflecting on this project and course, I realized how far I have come in both a literary and literal sense. With this in mind, I have developed my MTSG TOP 10:
10. Punctuation can make or break a blog post.
9. Sometimes blogging software is unpredictable…always preview your post!
8. Pick a topic you WANT to write about. If you can’t get into it, anyone reading certainly won’t be able to.
7. Not every reader will interpret your writing and its message in the same way. Be prepared to offer further commentary!
6. Summarizing a research article and crafting a blog post are not the same thing.
5. Pictures attract people to your post; just make sure they are cited correctly!
4. From mosquitos to candy to cellphone applications, the concept of “Public Health research” is broad and interesting.
3. Writing a 500 word post can take 2-3 times longer than writing a paper for a different class.
2. Tell a story…writing conversationally doesn’t come natural to me, however, now that we are done, I do feel a little more comfortable with it. For example, I no longer cringe as I type a contraction in a post (see #8).
1. Having the support of friends and mentors who want you to succeed enables you to take risks and challenge yourself in ways you may not have otherwise.
I participated in this blog as a part of a class, but the lessons learned and challenges faced in the completion of the past 10 weeks can certainly be applied as I finish my degree and transition to my career. As my time with MTSG ends and the blog goes on hiatus until the fall semester, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who peer-reviewed, commented, read, and/or shared a post. It has become strikingly clear that the translation and communication of science is essential for engaging the public and moving research forward.