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Article Writing. Dave Finley Public Information Officer National Radio Astronomy Observatory . Outline. Background & Experience Types of Articles Writing Process: Working Example Adapting the Writing to the Audience Advice for Scientific Writing. Background & Experience.

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

Article Writing

Dave Finley

Public Information Officer

National Radio Astronomy Observatory

slide2

Outline

Background & Experience

Types of Articles

Writing Process: Working Example

Adapting the Writing to the Audience

Advice for Scientific Writing

slide3

Background & Experience

Degrees: Political Science & Geology

Newspapers: Miami Herald Sci/Med Editor

Supercomputer Centers: Documentation

NRAO: Public Information Officer

On the Side: Occasional Freelance

Hobbies: Astronomy, Ham Radio, Aviation

slide4

Types of Writing

Newspapers

Miami Herald, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer,

Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque Tribune, etc.

Magazines

Astronomy, Air & Space, Mercury, QST, Radio Fun,

Lite Geology, Southern Sky, NM Journal of Science

Books

Author: Morse Code: Breaking the Barrier

Editor: Radio Interferometry: The Saga and the Science

Chapter Author: Preserving the Astronomical Sky

Organizations & Strategies in Astronomy III

State of the Universe 2008

slide5

Writing Process

Working Example:

Press Release

  • Scientific Content
  • Target: General Public
  • Often Used Verbatim
  • Process Essentially Same

as for Magazine Article, etc.

slide6

Writing Process

Basic Principle: Learn First, Write Next

  • Read the Scientific/Technical Paper
  • Interview Author(s), Clarify & Amplify Important Points
  • Identify Potential Graphics, Get Work Started on Them
  • Prepare Draft
  • Review Draft with Author(s), Revise
  • Endure Institutional Review Process
  • Assemble Text/Graphics Package
  • Issue Release/Publish on Web
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Adapting the Material to the Audience

Original: Technical Paper, Jargon, Equations,

Complex Graphs & Charts

Press Release/Article: Language for Nonscientists

slide8

Adapting the Material to the Audience

Know and understand the material

Translate the jargon

Help develop simplified graphics

Put plain-language explanations into quotes

Explain the background

Put the new discovery into context

slide9

Advice for Scientific Writing

Living in Interesting Times

Some Unchanged/Unchanging Essentials

slide10

The Media Revolution

New

Online Editions

Web Publications

Cable Networks

Blogs

Podcasts

Vodcasts

YouTube

Facebook

Old

Newspapers

Magazines

Evening News

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What Hasn\'t Changed, and Won\'t

Good Storytelling

Lively Writing

Clarity

Accuracy

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Summary

Understand Your Topic

Understand Your Audience

Keep It Lively

Keep It Accurate

Keep Up With Technology, Trends

Enjoy the Ride!

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