Top ten science writing tips that will change the way you write

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If you want to be a science writer and want to learn some amazing top tips from this years’ UNSW Bragg Prize judges, then scroll down the page!

The golden top ten tips from our five judges; Bradley Thomas, Ceridwen Dovey, Corey Tutt, Dyani Lewis and Heather Catchpole will change the way you write!

UNSW Bragg Prize 2021 Judge Bradley Thomas
UNSW Bragg Prize 2021 Judge Bradley Thomas

Bradley’s tips

#1 Honesty and genuineness

Your writing should be honest, fascinating, genuine and really show how important your topic means to you, your family and society.

#2 Indulge in science

Indulge in scientific terminology to showcase your writing skills, passion and enthusiasm for the incredible world of science now and in the future.

 

UNSW Bragg Prize Judge Ceridwen Dovey
UNSW Bragg Prize 2021 Judge Ceridwen Dovey

Ceridwen’s tips

#3 Don’t be afraid to be critical

Ceridwen believes that good science writing should go beyond simply describing what is happening, and incorporate a deeper analysis of why something is happening, and the wider consequences (both positive and negative) of any scientific research.

#4 Ask dumb Qs when interviewing a scientist

Never shy away from asking dumb questions while you’re interviewing someone. It’s hard to do because you naturally want them to think you understand everything about their field, but in this day and age, every scientific field is incredibly specialized, and until you become comfortable with asking the most basic questions, you won’t ever build your frames of reference so that you begin to understand the complexities of the topic.

RELATED: 2017 Bragg Prize reveals Australian kids’ fears for the planet’s future

NSW Bragg Prize 2021 Judge Corey Tutt
UNSW Bragg Prize 2021 Judge Corey Tutt

Corey Tutt’s tips

#5 Be brave

While you write a piece of content, always remember to be brave and deadly just as our judge ‘Deadly Science’s Founder, Corey Tutt is.

#6 You can’t be what you can’t see 

You can’t be what you can’t see so find writers who inspire you in form of advisors, mentors, teachers and be inspired while you learn the art of writing.

 

UNSW Bragg Prize 2021 Judge Dyani Lewis
UNSW Bragg Prize 2021 Judge Dyani Lewis

Dyani Lewis’s tips

#7 A little spice goes a long way

Even the briefest descriptions can pack a punch with the right words. Does that slimy substance you’re describing remind you of silken tofu (yum!), or a snot-glob of mucus? Don’t be afraid to pull out the thesaurus to find unique words and phrases to spice up your writing.

#8 What are you trying to say?

Is there a point to the story that you are telling? Why should the reader care? Keep in mind what message you want your reader to take away with them.

RELATED: Meet the 2021 UNSW Bragg Prize Judges

UNSW Bragg Prize 2021 Judge Heather Catchpole
UNSW Bragg Prize 2021 Judge Heather Catchpole

Heather Catchpole’s tips

#9 Just start

Think about how you can approach the story. Is there something unique or interesting that connects you to the subject? Writing about what interests you most means your passion will shine through in your essay. Once you have an idea, just start writing! Don’t try and get it perfect, just start jotting down as many ideas as you can think of – you can improve the language and structure later.

#10 Always proofread! 

When you have finished your essay, get someone to proofread your essay (and not just by pasting on Google Docs or online grammar checkers). If you correct grammar and spelling errors in the final draft, your essay will make a better impression on your readers – and you also want to make sure that they understand your ideas.

Who is the competition for?

The UNSW Bragg student prize is open to all high school students in Years 7–10.

It’s a great way to complement your studies across all areas including Science, English, History & Geography, Design & Technology and more!

ENTER here into the UNSW Bragg Prize science writing competition. We wish you all the best with your entries and hope that these tips will help you in your writing endeavours in future as well.

Astha Singh

Author: Dr Astha Singh

Astha is the Managing Editor at Refraction Media. She is a STEM Marketer and holds a Honors, Masters & PhD degree in Science. She has been producing STEM marketing content for over 10 years and is an avid advocate of Diversity in the STEM industry.

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