Lab 1: Understanding Textual Structures with Markdown

The First Lab

Some Thoughts

What I like initially and immediately about Markdown is the simplicity of the program. I do most of my writing in Microsoft Word and one of its drawbacks, simply visually, is that it is cluttered, especially at the top of the page. I write as a hobby in my free time and I have downloaded several programs that rid me of excess formatting options and buttons to better be able to focus on the words that I am putting forth onto the page. It reminds me of some messaging apps that I use which use the same lingo for italics and bold.

At the same time, the learning curve for the program - one of its drawbacks, at least initially - enforces, perhaps artificially, this feeling that what I write must be strictly technical and polished. With the black background it looks to me like I have pulled up the command prompt option on my laptop (or more likely, when I watched my dad pull up the option to fix something that I had done wrong on my first laptop, and I thought he was a wizard when he knew exactly what to type) or am working with a piece of code on my tumblr blog. I keep expecting to have to put in a piece of html coding. I’m glad I don’t. Those take so much more time than just throwing in a few asterisks.

While I did earlier mention the visual simplicity of the program, the split-screen aspect showing me both the plain text and what it looks like formatted is a little distracting. I’m constantly checking back and forth to make sure that I haven’t done anything that causes all of the formatting to become strange.

Some Pros and Cons


  • I don’t have to hassle with whichever blog platform this particular class has decided to use. Usually they are relatively similar, but usually they are also annoying.
  • Since I do a lot of digital writing, it is interesting to know at a basic level how it works, like how it compares to Word.
  • It’s something new I can put on my resume.


  1. Pulling up the syntax list again and again for the less intuitive code markers.
  2. It’s not as easy to turn in as just posting something to a class blog. I’m still trying to figure out what I’m supposed to do for that.

To practice some other syntax things, here’s an odd stock photo that I found a few weeks back.