To show growth as a writer, this piece is an introspective into the writing process for the Project 3, with details regarding choice of medium and purpose. It offers perspective into the challenges faced and the thought process to solving them.
For the technical audience piece, I decided to create a literature review since it seemed like a logical application going from the annotated bibliography. After finding many sources for a variety of facets of the problem, I wanted to discuss all of them. I read a few literature reviews in doing research for project 2, and found it was much harder to synthesize the ideas and crosslink than the ease it appeared to be done in real sources. Part of the difficulty was treating the review as an extension of the annotated bibliography rather than its own genre. Instead of letting the links between sources go from one point to another, I wrote about one source for a paragraph and then another in the next. But in later sections I was able to work more on those links, and got helpful comments from the peer reviews of what worked well and what did not. Another issue is taking avoiding a personal stance in the writing, as I formed an opinion during the research that was difficult to avoid expressing. The peer review helped remind me to take a step back and to not make personal belief the point of the review, instead showing those ideas through the sources. Writing for the technical audience was a challenge as this piece focused on writing as a peer of the field. It was difficult not to fall into the usual pitfalls of previous writing, but there was a certain liberation in assuming my audience was familiar with the topics I wrote of because I was able to get right into the synthesis and development.
For the public audience portion, making a podcast is a novel experience. A podcast was chosen because of the research I did in Project 2. One of the biggest problems in advancing nuclear waste disposal is the lack of communication between the public and authorities. The public also cited the distrust in the impersonality of science communication. These findings inspired me to make a podcast. First, podcasts help bridge the communication gap in an accessible format. Second is that podcasts are extremely personal, as it is a person speaking directly to you, having a conversation with you. Some of the resources I used in my genre analysis also cited this intimacy as a reason for the genre’s success. Further research helped teach me about incorporating visual elements into the podcast to make it more of an educational video. As I was creating the podcast, I made sure that the visual portion would not conflict with the audio, so that watching the video bolsters what is being heard instead of competing for attention. Presenting a sample image to the class also gave me an idea of what is too much in a graphic. I thought that I might be able to walk a listener through the PUREX graphic shown in class, but as everyone pointed out the detail was just too much and even with guidance I might lose listeners. There was a lot of cutting to keep the podcast within a reasonable length. Research shows after audience attention drops after six minutes, so I had to reevaluate what I want to show, and what is reasonable for my audience to understand within six minutes. The literature review allowed me to talk about everything I had researched, but the podcast required me be critical of topic inclusion.