• University of Leeds

Discovering Science: Science Writing

What science discoveries will you choose to write about?

30,810 enrolled on this course

Discovering Science: Science Writing
This course is part of the Discovering Science program, which will enable you to learn about the extraordinary world of everyday chemistry, and earn 10 academic credits from the University of Leeds.

Without science writing, science could not really exist. By recording experiments and publishing the results of studies and discoveries, scientists can share their important work, and find an engaged audience.

Science writing takes many forms: from press releases to video scripts. You’ll learn about different types of science writing, and look at the factors which you need to consider to write a story.

You’ll discover how to gather accurate information and relevant opinions as well as tips on how to conduct a successful interview.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds How is science communicated in today’s media? This course will help you understand how the latest scientific developments affecting our everyday lives are communicated through mainstream media, examine high-profile news stories and reports in science journals, led by science journalist, Catherine Sanderson, reflect on the power of blogs and videos as influential communication tools, learn top tips for conducting interviews, and find out what questions you should ask, so that you can write a balanced report. Using this analysis, identify the right angle for your story and write a compelling hook that will grab and retain your readers’ attention. The techniques explored in this course will help you develop your skills as an engaging science writer, communicating with both professional and public audiences.

Skip to 1 minute and 10 seconds Sign up now for Discovering Science: Science writing.

Syllabus

  • Week 1

    Exploring the science story

    • Welcome

      Welcome to Science Writing. In this course you will learn how to structure a narrative and convey a message for different written formats.

    • What is science writing?

      In this activity, you are introduced to science writing and the different forms it can take. You will examine sources for finding out about science.

    • Preparing your story

      In this activity, you examine the factors to consider when preparing to write your own science story. You will explore how to tell a story from different angles, who your audience is, and why they will be interested in your story.

    • Writing your story

      In this activity, you look at how to structure a narrative and the factors you need to consider as a science writer.

    • Summary

      To close this week of the course, you reflect on the week and are introduced to the topics covered next week.

  • Week 2

    Science in the news

    • About Week 2

      Week 2 focuses on writing stories for different formats such as news articles and video. You'll explore how to achieve balance in your articles, how to write a science video and how to interview a science expert for a broadcast.

    • Reporting

      In this activity, you will examine the different components you need to write for news articles, press releases and blogs, such as the headline for a news article.

    • Video stories

      In this activity, you look at the power of video stories. You’ll explore how to use this method to communicate scientific information to different audiences, as well as look at interviewing techniques to use during a broadcast.

    • Your news story

      In this activity, you put your science writing skills into practice by writing a news article, blog post or video script. You’ll also have the opportunity to review and comment on the work of other learners.

    • Summary

      To close the course, you reflect on your learning and are introduced to some of the options for studying at the University of Leeds.

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service
The CPD Certification Service:

This course has been accredited by the CPD Certification Service, which means it can be used to provide evidence of your continuing professional development.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain what science writing is and identify different types.
  • Identify how to source examples of science writing and evaluate them.
  • Evaluate how science is communicated through the media.
  • Identify how to define an audience, angle and the top-line in science writing.
  • Demonstrate how to structure a narrative.
  • Identify the appropriate use of reporting and interviewing techniques.
  • Develop a news article, blog post or video script.
  • Reflect on the power of science blogs and videos as communication tools.

Who is the course for?

The course is suitable for anyone with a general interest in science; no previous knowledge or experience is required.

If you are working in the field of science and would like to practice and improve your science writing skills, this course is designed to support you as a professional. By completing all aspects of the course you will have achieved 10 hours of CPD time.

What do people say about this course?

I joined this course because I wanted to try something different... No one at college taught us how to write about science in an "informal" way, they always focused on research papers, and I feel that, as scientists, it is one of our tasks to spread science to society. Thanks to this course I have learnt that there are many possibilities for science writing, and I have also been able to share and discuss my thoughts with people from all around the world. It was very enriching and totally worth it! Thanks a lot!!

Mireia Uranga

Who will you learn with?

I'm from Holmfirth in Yorkshire. I'm a Professor at the University of Leeds. I'm a Pro-Dean and research cancer & evolution https://physicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/staff/210/professor-paul-taylor

Who developed the course?

University of Leeds

As one of the UK’s largest research-based universities, the University of Leeds is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and a centre of excellence for teaching.

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