Student Spotlight

Writing advice from ASDA’s Editorial Board

Writing can be a challenge, even for those with a lot of experience. The 2022-23 ASDA Editorial Board creates and facilitates content for Contour magazine and ASDA Blog. Here, they offer their advice for improving your writing skills and getting that first draft done.

Cody Phen, East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine ’23, ASDA Contributing Editor

“I love reading. Set a time in the morning or in the evening to read. It helps keep the mind active, allows you to use your imagination and helps you become a better writer. It can also (temporarily) take you away from life’s stresses. Reading in small portions helps you finish larger books and allows you to move on to the next adventure faster!”

Tina Wang, University of Washington School of Dentistry ’24, ASDA Contributing Editor

“My piece of advice on writing: Just write! Ignore grammar and sentence structure and just put the ideas down on paper. Then, go back and organize into coherent thoughts and sentences.”

Sania Naqvi, University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine ’23, ASDA Electronic Editor

“There’s a writer in all of us! To start my writing process, I make sure my environment is filled with candles and that I have background noise, whether it’s music or TV.  Once I am in the zone, I make a list of my ideas. Then I group similar ideas together and my creative juices start flowing…and then my assignment is done!”

Sophia Yang, Harvard School of Dental Medicine ’24, ASDA Contributing Editor

“A lot of writing is sorting through messy thoughts and drafting them into sentences others can easily understand. I think there is a lot of introspection in writing, where you have to know yourself first, before you can understand your own intention and the point you are trying to communicate.”

Yasmarie Santana Rivera, University of Puerto Rico School of Dental Medicine ’24, ASDA Electronic Editor

“When you start writing, the first draft is putting down whatever thoughts come to mind. Use the second draft [to make revisions], then add sources and proofread. And then, you’ll have [a solid] draft!”

Roslyn Joseph, Dental College of Georgia ’24, ASDA Contributing Editor

“The key to improving your writing and mastering crown preparations is the same: Seek constructive feedback from mentors with more experience. You must also prioritize practice, but this applies everywhere!”

Kelsey Bealmear, University of Michigan ’23, ASDA Contributing Editor

“Starting with an outline builds a solid foundation for your paper. I often write my introduction and conclusion prior to writing the body of my paper. Doing so provides me with a sense of direction and allows me to achieve the goals of my paper clearly and concisely.”

Want to write for ASDA? Learn more about how to submit your story ideas.

Ryan Lee

Ryan Lee, Texas-Houston '23, is ASDA's editor-in-chief. He is passionate about oral health communication and works on editorials made for dental students. Outside of dentistry, he loves movies and storytelling and is an amateur animator and movie reviewer. He also enjoys long-distance running and cooking Taiwanese food that reminds him of home.

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