Comments on the Difference Between Two Science Journalists Describing their Jobs

Gap-fill exercise

This exercise contains three pieces written to compare how two science writers view their jobs. One description is in an article by Janice Hopkins Tanner titled "Writing Science for Magazines" (from "A Field Guide for Science Writers" Oxford OUP 1997 pp 17-26) and an interview. Some grammar and vocabulary mistakes have been highlighted with an *asterisk* on either side of them. They are then followed by a gap for you to fill in. If the answer is to just delete the word or phrase, type "Delete" in the gap.

Fill in all the gaps, and then press, "Check" to check your answers. Use the "Hint" button to get a free letter if an answer is giving you trouble. You can also click on the "[?]" button to get a clue. The clue is usually a note about the type of problem involved (e.g. "Tense"). Sometimes the clue button will give you a link to a page on the web where there is information that will help you. This may be a page from a dictionary or thesaurus, or the results of a search from a web-based concordancer.

Note that you will lose points if you ask for hints or clues! You do not lose points if you click on a "Click here for comment" link. These comments give additional points about the text.

There are several similarities and differences between the interview responses of Mr. Taylor and Miss Click here for comment. Tanne's *MISSING WORD* . Both of them try to cover the current issues in their respective field from a fresh angle. Mr.. Taylor writes *an article* on what is going on in the technology industry *at that time* . Meanwhile, Miss Tanne captures a story on current issues *on* scientific *MISSING WORD* *aspect* . Despite some commonalities that both of them have, there are some differences, which differentiate Click here for comment one from the other. Click here for comment

First of all, their field of the expertise in *articles* writing is different. Mr. Taylor specializes in writing articles about prevailing issues *on* computer technology. Whereas Miss Tanne focuses her articles on medical issues, such as Hepatitis B.

Secondly, the mediums in which they *submit* their articles *to* are different. Mr. Taylor works as an editor at a newspaper *agency* , while Miss Tanne works as a contributing editor of a magazine. Therefore, Mr. Taylor is not required to submit his articles to the newspaper *agency* that he is working at. He writes an article and contributes it to a section of the newspaper. However, as a freelance writer, Miss. Tanne needs to promote her article to the magazine by sending the magazine company a "query letter" Click here for comment. She gives more explanation on how to catch an editor's attention, methods on writing a proposal (query letter). Furthermore, she needs to explain to the editor *on* the reason why she is the suitable person to write the story, and why the story is important for their readers, etc.

Thirdly, the sources from which they retrieve information from are different. Mr. Taylor gets information from people in the technology industry, search engines, *newswire* , news *agency* , big organizations and *encyclopaedia* , etc. On the other hand, Miss. Tanne obtains information for her articles from scientific conferences, a "holiday party" for science writers, journal articles, PR officers at the medical centres, review articles, interviews with experts and basic journals, etc. Click here for comment

Fourthly, Miss. Tanne provides more information on how to assemble the information collected from various sources to write an article, whereas Mr. Taylor failed to mention Click here for comment *those* information in his interview. Click here for a general comment on this contribution.

Comparing Neil’s Interview with *MISSING WORD* article, “Writing Science for Magazines”. Click here for comment

In deciding *MISSING WORD* his stories, Neil and will focus on firstly, what is currently happening in the technological world, *base* on information given by companies, as well as some other sources. For Janice, as a "pioneer", she would choose to write *MISSING WORD* issues that have never been covered in *MISSING WORD* medical publishing field. Similarly, she would pay attention to what the *currently* scientific interests are. Both agreed that writers have freedom in choosing their topic, but the editor is the final judge in deciding what goes in and what does not, especially *MISSING WORD* Neil himself is an editor Click here for comment. The most important criterion for Neil and Janice would be what is what is the freshest, most up-to-date, and most interesting *MISSING WORD* to the readers. Neil will mostly rely on online searching in doing his research. He will also keep an eye on some newswires every day in order to find out *MISSING WORD* the latest changes. Janice will usually search through her notes, read review articles; textbooks; basic journals; references, and interview some experts. *Yet* , she might also *uses* electronic searches. *MISSING WORD* as to avoid something dull, Neil might try to choose *one* that somebody is angry about in choosing an angle. *MISSING WORD* for Janice, she might choose an angle that *suit* different readers in different contexts. Click here for a general comment on this contribution.


After reading the article, 'Writing Science for Magazine', I *find* some differences between Neil and Janice, the essay writer.

First, Neil is the editor of Technology Post, whereas Janice is *the* contributing editor of Medical magazines. Although they are *also* writing science journals Click here for a comment, the medical journal obviously *needed* more *evidences* to support its points of view. Neil confessed in the class that he might not *take* too much effort to prove *the* points. Click here for comment It doesn’t mean that Neil is less serious with his *journals* because medical *journal* *is* closely related to the health of an individual, *which* people will pay attention *on* *it* . Click here for a comment

I don't want to compare the process of preparing a journal article Click here for a comment, but I quite agree with Janice's point that ideas are 'in the air'. When I was studying in my previous course, Click here for a comment I *have taken* a part-time job in a trendy youth magazine as a researcher/reporter, and I was responsible for handling reader's *suggestion* on interesting shops. I recognised that sometimes you needed to "dig into" the suggestions, and you could find something interesting or appealing. Ideas *won't appear if you didn't* bother to further explore *it* .

I do not have *much* opinions on the *difference* *of* Neil and Janice in writing for science journals, because I didn't read a lot; Click here for comment however, the interview and this essay do help me in preparing the first assignment as one of the questions is related to SARS. Click here for a general comment on this contribution.