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Week5 - July 8 - Reading for 7/15; writing due 7/18

1) Read package of articles on Web site for discussion in July 15 class

2) Your first draft is due 4 p.m. Friday, July 18. THIS IS A STRICT DEADLINE. Chris and I need the weekend to critique these.

3) You should be thinking seriously about graphics to accompany your article. Contact Chris, Lonny, and/or Katherine to brainstorm.

4) Scan Gopen article.

Saturday, July 12 email from Lonny:
"Hello, all.
Since all of you are busy writing this week, let's have some fun at Tuesday's class. Let's explore some of the tricks of the writing trade by examining some in action in articles written by some real good science writers and some not-so-bad science writers.

Take a look at one of my favorite articles, "Fun with Physics," which is under "Recommended Reading" on the Web site. And, take a look, too, at two articles that you recommended, by Natalie Angier and Olivia Judson.

It isn't homework to read these:



We might also take a look at a few of the model articles we previously sent you."

Week 4 - July 1 -- DUE JULY 4

"For planning and scheduling purposes, etc. Here is the next HW assignment...
On Tuesday (July 1), we will analyze your "five sentences" for three different stories. Then...are you ready? The time has come for you to write five clear, concise, crystalline sentences that describe the points you want to make in your own articles, which will be the next HW assignment. Five sentences, not paragraphs. Short, direct, simple sentences--not sentences with lots of dependent clauses appended and crammed on them. The operative words are "concise," "clear," "crystalline." If your brain doesn't hurt while doing this exercise, you're either a genius or you probably need to keeping working at it. But if you nail your sentences, you will have your road map (cruise track?) and smoother sailing on your first draft."

Week 3 - June 25 - DUE JUNE 27

  1. Come up with "5 sentences" for both Aguilar Soto (on web) and Bogomolni (embargoed; contact Sheila if you need a paper copy)
  2. Submit a brief statement or outline regarding your proposed Oceanus article--just enough to give us an idea about your subject, so that, if plausible, we can match you to a mentor who might have appropriate background/experience. 

Week 2 - June 17

  1. Read this first draft of a profile of Mike Krawczynski.
  2. Write "five sentences"--five points you think this article should make in five clear, concise sentences (that could be written on the back of David Belasco's calling card—if you write small). You could chose 2 points (what's the story about? Why should I read it?) or 3, or 4, but 5 is the upper limit. Now try to write a nut graf for this story.
  3. Finally, go for it, try to write a lede for the story that you think will hook readers. I think there is a decent one buried in the story. You might find it, or you could just as well come up with something far better. 
  4. Send the 5 sentences, the nut graf and the lede in to (writing-homework@whoi.edu)

Also, C&L are sorry to get this Poynter online article to you late (here it is as a PDF). Please try to read it before you start the homework. "It will help you do your assignment ... and all your writing down the road. —Chris and Lonny"

Week 1 - June 10

  1. Find an example of good and bad scientific writing for the layperson.  Try to find examples outside of your areas of specialty.  Cut and paste your selections into an email sent to writing-homework@whoi.edu by Friday, June 13, at 4:00pm.

    Please be sure to include info regarding the sources so that we can hunt down the articles, etc., for future reference.

    Some suggested sources include Discover, Science, C&E News, National Geographic, MIT Tech Talk
  2. Please read  Aguilar Soto, N., M.P. Johnson, P.T. Madsen, F. Díaz, I. Domínguez, A. Brito,  P. Tyack (2008) Cheetahs of the deep sea: deep foraging sprints in short-finned pilot whales off Tenerife (Canary Islands). Journal of Animal Ecology, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2008.01393.x


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Last updated July 14, 2008
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