Write about some aspect of science or technology by interviewing and writing a profile of someone working in the field—a graduate student or post-doc who’s running a lab, or a professor (not one whose class you’re currently taking).
- Class #8: Proposal Due
- Class #11: Progress Report: i.e., you should have set up your interview by now and/or done background reading (the progress report will be oral, not written)
- Class #14: First Draft Due, Workshop
- Class #21: Revision Due
Write about some aspect of science or technology by writing a profile of someone in the field—most likely a post-doc who’s running a lab, a grad student, or a professor. You will conduct an in-person interview. Your interview will not appear in Q & A form but, rather, be integrated into a story that has a clearly defined focus.
Think of your assignment as similar to a feature article in a newspaper such as the New York Times, or in a news magazine. Review the principles of interviewing that we read in Hancock’s Ideas into Words.
We will workshop as a whole class as we did with the previous assignments, and then in groups.
Print out, read, and comment/ask questions on your partners’ drafts before class. Choose 2–3 things to focus on to get the workshop started. For example:
- Do the character and personality of the person being profiled come through?
- Are the subject’s research interests and/or career path clear?
- Is the research or other work explained clearly and with some depth?
- Are terms and concepts explained for non-specialists?
- Does the science get too dense in places?
- Does the profile have an overall focus? Does it feel unified?
- Is the writing clear at the sentence level?
- Do sentences and paragraphs link well?
- Is there something you’d like to hear more about?
Make sure to include a Sources list, including the interview itself with the date of the interview (even if that’s your only source). As you revise, especially consider:
- What’s the story I’m telling?
- Does the balance of parts feel right?
- Can readers “see” the person I interviewed?
- Have I left key parts of the science or technology unexplained?
When you hand in your new draft, please include a cover sheet answering these questions along with the first draft with my comments.
- What has changed in this draft? Please be specific.
- What do you think is the most interesting thing about the story you’re telling? Why?
- What was most challenging about writing this article?
- 3½–4 pp. double-spaced (1000–1250 words)