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Entering the Bragg Prize? Here’s what makes a good science story

Good science story

Want to give your essay an edge? Check out these excellent tips from a science writer and Bragg Prize judge

Donna Lu is a science writer for Guardian Australia and she’s also sitting on the UNSW Bragg Student Prize for Science Writing judging panel this year! To help you write the best essay ever, we asked Donna, “What makes a good science story anyway?” Below, she shares her tips that’ll make sure your topic and the direction you take it in is clear, engaging and insightful.

What makes a good science story?

Want your essay to stand out in the epic pile of Bragg essay we’ll receive? Take on board Donna’s advice:

1. Good science stories reveal something new or exciting about the wider universe we are living in. Aim to reveal something new to your readers – whether a new development in science, or a new way of telling a well-worn story. 

2. Lean into what is interesting, strange, or mysterious about the topic you are writing about.

3. Be led by your own curiosity – if you are interested in the story, chances are your readers will be too. 

4. Seek to both explain and contexualise the story for your readers. Why does it matter? What is significant about the science? If it has impacts on wider society, what are they? 

About Donna Lu

Donna Lu, science writer

Donna Lu is a science writer at Guardian Australia. She previously worked in London as a journalist for New Scientist magazine, and has written for The Atlantic, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Saturday Paper. 

Find out more about the UNSW Bragg Student Prize for Science Writing judges over here.

What is the UNSW Bragg Student Prize for Science Writing?

The UNSW Bragg Student Prize for Science Writing is a competition for Year 7-10 students in Australia. The competition opens April 27, closes August 25 and winners will be announced October 23.

This year, we want entrants to use 800 words to explore how we use and benefit from AI, with a particular focus on science.

Head the competition entry page to learn more and to submit your essay!

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To keep up to date with all things Bragg Prize, subscribe to the Careers with STEM e-newsletter!

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Love science and writing? The UNSW Bragg Student Prize for Science Writing opens for entries April 29.