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This week was a big step for me, both in life and in ENGL 105i. On September 26th, I turned 18 and turned in my unit one project.

The beginning of this week was a little stressful as we were all putting the final touches on our popular health video essays and uploading them to the course website. We embedded our videos, copy and pasted our transcript and bibliographies, and then finally clicked the publish button to see our website pages come to life. As we did this, we all felt the same unbeatable feeling of satisfaction and happiness that comes with turning in an assignment that we worked so hard on. This meant that unit one of ENGL 105I: Writing in the Medical Sciences was officially over! 

But the feeling did not last for too long as on September 28th, we jumped right back in and started unit two: writing in the social health sciences. In class, we first reflected on our unit one projects to see what we could learn from them to make our unit two projects run more smoothly. From there we discussed the reading from the Tar Heel Writing Guide on writing in the social health sciences and social sciences as an introduction to this new topic. I am particularly excited for this unit as it has many connections to my intended major, Public Health. What we learn from this unit will be the most useful for me when it comes to my future here at UNC. 

After our discussion, we took a look at the unit two assignment prompt, which outlines the 2.1 feeder, an annotated bibliography, the 2.2 feeder, a presentation proposal, and the final product, a health justice conference presentation on a topic related to North Carolina. We then started discussing potential UP2 topics with our groups. From the start of this course, I had already picked out a topic that I was interested in and wanted to do more research on for this project, rural health care access. This also tied in perfectly with the assignment prompt as it is a big issue in NC. My classmates and I also discussed a variety of topics like women’s reproductive rights, increased maternal mortality within patients of color, and cultural barriers and how they can affect the health care someone receives. Each and every topic that we discussed was so interesting and important that I can’t wait to see all of these presentations turn out.

During our next class, we talked about citations in APA, which is what we are using for this project, had a discussion on health justice and injustices, and then dove into research questions. We focused on what they were and how to come up with them, specifically for research in social health sciences. This was something new for us as we have only worked with scientific hypothesizes and research questions related to experimental research, not those used in the social sciences. In my opinion, what we learned this week was one of the most important skills that anyone in medicine could have as the entire field is based on research, which all starts with a research question. This is key in making sure that the audience and we, as the researchers, understand the topic at hand and what is being concluded from the study. Looking back at my previous works in high school, this was where I struggled as it was difficult to create a research question that was the perfect balance between broad and specific. The handout in Sakai name “Research Questions Handout” under “Helpful Handouts and Resources” was the most useful when it came to coming up with my own research question for this unit project.

After the lecture, we peer-workshopped the tentative research questions we came up with based on the topic we had chosen in the previous class. We were then able to finalize, or at least get a better idea of our research question, which meant we could start working on the rough draft of our feeder 2.1, which is due at the beginning of next week.

Overall, this week was all about getting introduced to and comfortable with our next area of writing in medicine, writing in the social health sciences. From here, we will continue to work on our UP2 feeders and get closer to the final product while learning more and more about this new topic.


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