Essay Topics
Types of Essays
Essay Checklist
Word Counter
Readability Score
Essay Rewriter
I don't have numbers on how many perfectionists go into Ph.D. programs, but I have a feeling that many fewer come out the other side - not because they drop out but because perfection is irreconcilable with exploring the outer reaches of knowledge. This was certainly the case for me. In high school and college, perfection was attainable, quantifiable and highly rewarded. Though my first love was writing, I assumed early on that a career in writing was way too risky. What if I wasn't any good? What if I failed? So I pursued my second interest: science. In my naivete, I assumed a career in research would be more secure and straightforward, though to be fair, this was soon after the budget of the National Institutes of Health had doubled. Plus, graduate school, with its humble yet guaranteed stipend, appeared to be the least risky choice I could make. But anyone who has conducted research, from a summer intern to a Nobel laureate, knows that failure is part and parcel with science. For proof, look no further than the number of student presentations, including my own for three years, titled "Attempts at Crystallizing Protein X." Crystallizing a protein is an early and not trivial step in determining the three-dimensional structure of a protein in X-ray crystallography. But matrix screening is built on the premise that more than 99 percent of chemical conditions will fail to yield diffracting crystals. Uncertainty is found not only in the day-to-day failure of experiments but in choosing a hypothesis that may be completely wrong. For some, pursuing a reoccurring band on a Western blot leads to the discovery of ubiquitin; for many others, that band really is just a contaminant. But as researchers, we must embrace that uncertainty, much as a jazz musician does not know where the music will end when he begins playing. Jonas Salk, inventor of the polio vaccine, said as much a 1991 interview: "Risks, I like to say, always pay off. You learn what to do, or what not to do. I like to say 'nothing ventured, nothing gained.'" Though I had heard similar quotes throughout my life, it wasn't until graduate school that I learned the process of failure in practice and that what makes science so risky is also what makes it so exciting. Eventually I left research to try my hand at science writing. People sometimes ask me if I regret not pursuing writing sooner. But I can't imagine a different path, since it was precisely this newfound appreciation for uncertainty that empowered me to ask, "What if I left bench science?" Yes, failure was possible, but so was success. While I wouldn't achieve my dream job as a science writer immediately, if the career path remotely resembled the sinusoidal valleys and peaks of research, I could persist and persevere.
Essay Writing Checklist
The following guidelines are designed to give students a checklist to use, whether they are revising individually or as part of a peer review team.
Introduction
  • Is the main idea (i.e., the writer's opinion of the story title) stated clearly?
  • Is the introductory paragraph interesting? Does it make the reader want to keep on reading?
Body Paragraph
  • Does each body paragraph have a clear topic sentence that is related to the main idea of the essay?
  • Does each body paragraph include specific information from the text(including quoted evidence from the text, if required by the instructor)that supports the topic sentence?
  • Is there a clear plan for the order of the body paragraphs (i.e., order of importance, chronology in the story, etc.)?
  • Does each body paragraph transition smoothly to the next?
Conclusion
  • Is the main idea of the essay restated in different words?
  • Are the supporting ideas summarized succinctly and clearly?
  • Is the concluding paragraph interesting? Does it leave an impression on the reader?
Overall Essay
  • Is any important material left unsaid?
  • Is any material repetitious and unnecessary?
  • Has the writer tried to incorporate "voice" in the essay so that it has his/her distinctive mark?
  • Are there changes needed in word choice, sentence length and structure, etc.?
  • Are the quotations (if required) properly cited?
  • Has the essay been proofread for spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc.?
  • Does the essay have an interesting and appropriate title?
An appreciation of uncertainty
Trending Essay Topics
Explore today's trending essay topics:
Reference
Feel free to use content on this page for your website, blog or paper we only ask that you reference content back to us. Use the following code to link this page:
Terms · Privacy · Contact
Essay Topics © 2018

An Appreciation Of Uncertainty

Words: 479    Pages: 2    Paragraphs: 9    Sentences: 28    Read Time: 01:44
Highlight Text to add correction. Use an editor to spell check essay.
              I don't have numbers on how many perfectionists go into Ph. D. programs, but I have a feeling that many fewer come out the other side - not because they drop out but because perfection is irreconcilable with exploring the outer reaches of knowledge.
             
              This was certainly the case for me. In high school and college, perfection was attainable, quantifiable and highly rewarded. Though my first love was writing, I assumed early on that a career in writing was way too risky. What if I wasn't any good? What if I failed?
             
              So I pursued my second interest: science. In my naivete, I assumed a career in research would be more secure and straightforward, though to be fair, this was soon after the budget of the National Institutes of Health had doubled. Plus, graduate school, with its humble yet guaranteed stipend, appeared to be the least risky choice I could make.
             
              But anyone who has conducted research, from a summer intern to a Nobel laureate, knows that failure is part and parcel with science. For proof, look no further than the number of student presentations, including my own for three years, titled "Attempts at Crystallizing Protein X. " Crystallizing a protein is an early and not trivial step in determining the three-dimensional structure of a protein in X-ray crystallography. But matrix screening is built on the premise that more than 99 percent of chemical conditions will fail to yield diffracting crystals.
             
              Uncertainty is found not only in the day-to-day failure of experiments but in choosing a hypothesis that may be completely wrong. For some, pursuing a reoccurring band on a Western blot leads to the discovery of ubiquitin; for many others, that band really is just a contaminant.
             
              But as researchers, we must embrace that uncertainty, much as a jazz musician does not know where the music will end when he begins playing. Jonas Salk, inventor of the polio vaccine, said as much a 1991 interview: "Risks, I like to say, always pay off. You learn what to do, or what not to do. I like to say 'nothing ventured, nothing gained. '"
             
              Though I had heard similar quotes throughout my life, it wasn't until graduate school that I learned the process of failure in practice and that what makes science so risky is also what makes it so exciting.
             
              Eventually I left research to try my hand at science writing. People sometimes ask me if I regret not pursuing writing sooner. But I can't imagine a different path, since it was precisely this newfound appreciation for uncertainty that empowered me to ask, "What if I left bench science? "
             
              Yes, failure was possible, but so was success. While I wouldn't achieve my dream job as a science writer immediately, if the career path remotely resembled the sinusoidal valleys and peaks of research, I could persist and persevere.
Life Essay Myself Essay 
+2
Tip: Use our Essay Rewriter to rewrite this essay and remove plagiarism.
Next Myself Essay: Personal Essay On Law
Next Life Essay: A Life Of Homework Essay

Add Notes

Have suggestions, comments or ideas? Please share below. Don't forget to tag a friend or classmate.
clear
Formatting Help
Submit