TED Talk: What You Didn’t Know About Shock Therapy

For my final project, I wrote and filmed a mock TED Talk on electroconvulsive therapy (“shock therapy”). The TED Talk, titled “What You Didn’t Know About Shock Therapy”, was inspired by a Michigan Daily article I wrote after Michigan Medicine published a study finding that electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a cost-effective treatment. In the TED Talk, I pretend to be one of the authors of the study, explaining why the results are important and attempting to debunk some of the misconceptions surrounding ECT.

Looking back on the past semester, I think Writing 220 made me a little confused (in a good way) about what kind of writer I am. Especially over the past few years, I’ve really only written in journalistically, academically, or scientifically, and I love these styles because they’re so straightforward. As I discuss in my narrative introduction, I really enjoy words and the actual mechanics of writing, so I tend to focus less on creative writing or storytelling. Writing 220 definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone, forcing me to experiment with genres that I don’t know well. Although I still wouldn’t say that I’m confident in my creative writing and personal storytelling abilities, trying out genres such as short fiction reminded me of how I used to enjoy writing creative, fictional pieces and poems. Also, the class made me think a little harder about genre, and I realized that some of the styles I’ve deemed “uncreative” — like scientific writing — actually do involve creativity, because the author needs to tell some kind of story (even if they’re writing about data) to show the reader why their topic is important.

To summarize, I guess I’ve realized that I can write in more ways than I thought I could coming into Writing 220. The Minor in Writing is a great way for me to explore genres that don’t feel so comfortable, so as I work towards the capstone, I want to keep experimenting. My goal is to figure out what I can do as a writer.

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