Let’s say you want to write about science for kids, and you want them to actually enjoy reading it—no one wants to sound like the adults from a Charlie Brown cartoon. For starters, the best way to write science for young people is to put yourself into the mindset of your readers.
Elements of Craft
Great investigative projects usually begin with journalists brave enough to be guided by their own curiosity even if their sources—or their colleagues—think they’re a bit daft. Such journalists allow themselves to articulate the embarrassingly obvious, […]
Every day, dozens of press releases flood science journalists’ inboxes. Each one announces new scientific results—often crowned with superlatives like oldest, biggest, fastest—and each one is carefully crafted to pique reporters’ interest. Some of […]
Well begun is half done. Scratch that—no clichés. Um. Just as breakfast is the most important meal of the day, the beginning is the most important part of a story. Snore. And that first […]
Imagine you’re a crime reporter writing a story about a shooting at a nightclub. Now imagine that none of your readers know what a gun is. Suddenly, your story got a whole lot harder to write. You can’t just jump into the shooter’s backstory, or the victim’s suffering, or the detective work that led to an arrest. Instead, you’ve got to explain … Welcome to the science writer’s dilemma.
Sometime during my PhD studies, I had an epiphany: I liked learning about science more than I liked doing it. Although I had excelled in science classes as an undergraduate, I was unprepared for the […]
Only my name appears above this story, but it bears the imprint of an editor’s invisible hand as well, and is the better for it. Every writer, no matter how seasoned or esteemed, needs an […]
When writers and editors craft a story, we tend to focus first on its tone and texture, its characters and structure—the words that will bring it to life. Being preoccupied with prose makes perfect sense: […]