Microbiology Writing Guide’s Greatest Hits
By Ruth Sylvester, WIC Intern (MA Rhetoric, Writing, and Cultures)
Among the countable aspects of the WIC program are hits on pages of the WIC website. We were delighted to learn that pages from various departmental writing guides are among out most viewed pages. Currently, the WIC Survival Guide provides students with access to departmental writing guides from 10 disciplines: Anthropology; Chemistry; Difference, Power, and Discrimination; Human Development and Family Sciences; Mathematics; Microbiology; Music; Philosophy; Political Science; and Sociology.
Google Analytics, looking at a period of about 18 months, reports notably high viewer engagement with individually accessible pages for the writing guides in Microbiology, Chemistry, and Music. We learned that writing guides with individually searchable pages are accessed much more often that guides that exist only as a PDF. Within the Microbiology Writing Guide, the most popular pages are “Presenting Data” (25,757 hits) “Lab Report Format” (16,652), “Scientific Style” (6,224), “Citing Sources” (2,508), “Understanding Journal Articles” (525), and “Ethics” (230). We plan to use this information to rename/reformat other writing guides to improve student access. We asked Microbiology Writing Guide co-author Linda Bruslind, who teaches WIC courses in that discipline, if she knew what might account for the dazzling popularity of the MB Writing Guide. She said she links to it on her syllabus, but she is not sure other OSU MB teachers are aware of the guide. The hits to the MB guide come from all over the world. If any readers can help us unpack this mystery, please let us know.
Other frequently accessed pages on the WIC website are “Find WIC Courses” (636), “Making Peer Review Work” (576), “The WIC Culture of Writing Awards” (535) and “Grammar Errors and Solutions” (506). But they can’t compete with the Microbiology Writing Guide’s greatest hits.