How to create compelling science content?
Many in innovation and research circles ask the question: what makes great science content writing stand out. The obvious answer is: its ability to engage with its intended audience.
When going through the process of science content writing — whether the objective is to inform, educate or influence — it is essential to keep the audience reading. Digital fatigue is a major problem in today’s society. People often lack the time or attention span to read a single in-depth article, let alone multiple pieces.
Content must grab the audience’s attention. This might mean adjusting the format or style of writing to engagethe target audience. It is acceptable to include technical language and scientific detail when addressing a specialist audience of healthcare professionals after a symposium.
However, this approach is not helpful for a lay audience. Business audiences and the general public require complex ideas to be presented in a simple manner. The author’s area of expertise should not steer the contentand control the message at the expense of audience understanding.
Science content VS scientific writing
It is important to distinguish what makes science writing different from scientific writing. Scientific writing is a form of professional communication aimed at niche expert communities. The result is usually published in peer-reviewed journals. Experts often specialise in sub-disciplines of life sciences, physical sciences, data sciences, and medical sciences. And the specialist jargon they share can render their articles impenetrable to non-experts.
Complex scientific ideas require specialist knowledge to decode and convey in a manner accessible to a broader audience, and that’s where science content comes in.
Science writing is aimed at a readership that does not have prior expertise in the topic. It is typically published in science magazine articles, on specialist portals or in blogs. Science content writers are typically people who combine a scientific background with strong writing skills. In addition, they have trained to communicate a range of scientific topic in a clear and captivating manner. Their target audiences include the wider scientific community, policy-makers and the general public.
What does science content look like?
Science content must be focused to effectively communicate research findings. It is essential that the science content creator fully understands the topic behind each piece.
So what does science writing look like, and how does it work? Typically, science writing explains the findings of a research project and the ways in which they differ from, or build on, existing knowledge. Effective science content writing could boost a fundraising campaign to finance further research or raise awareness of a study for patients who could benefit from its results.
The aim of the content, the subject it discusses, and the medium through which it is distributed all impact the length and style of the writing. Key questions to ask before starting to write: Is the article designed to to be informative, persuasive, or critical? And who is the science writing piece trying to convince?
What makes good science content writing?
The most common forms of science content writing seek to inform, educate or influence. Adhering to a defined format, such as a blog post, Q&A interview, press release, or educational article, helps to shape and focus the piece.
It can be easy to jump from idea to idea and subject to subject when attempting to present a large amount of information. To keep the writing tidy and the information legible, establish an outline before starting. Express one idea per paragraph and judge the depth of your explanation accordingly. Every word counts, so be on the lookout for repetition.
When moving on to a new paragraph, craft your transition carefully, making a logical connection between the two ideas. Present information in a clear, concise, and compelling manner to keep the audience reading, and ensure they understand your meaning.
When citing a source or providing evidence for a statement, ensure you do so accurately, whether you are quoting from an interview with a researcher, a scientific study, formal research guidelines, or survey results. Secondary sources of information need to be contextualized and evidenced, as they do not carry the same weight as primary sources.
Unless you are writing an opinion piece, stick to the facts and maintain a rational approach to content writing. The objective is to explain in clear and accessible language important concepts or scientific findings.
Make your science content compelling
Science writing is often used to reiterate scientific data in a persuasive manner, making data accessible through lay language.To persuade your audience as a writer, explore the topic in a creative yet evidenced way, stoking their curiosity about the subject while ensuring the piece is rigorous, impartial and trustworthy.
Do you need compelling science content? SciencePOD is here to help! Our science content experts create engaging digital assets to grow, inform and captivate your audience.