For translation: the approximate length of your model.
For the reflection: 2 pages.
This project will advance the following learning objectives:
- Use the steps in the writing process.
- Apply critical and creative thinking skills in writing, reading, and class discussion or activities.
- Utilize techniques of revising, editing, and proofreading in improving skills in the style and mechanics of writing.
- Identify purpose, audience, and tone in order to enhance the methods of development and organization.
- Evaluate writing for effective communication.
From podcasts to news articles to TV shows, the general public can learn about academic research in a wide variety of forms. Your purpose in this assignment is to choose one of the scholarly articles below and translate it for a popular audience using one of the models given.
The purpose of popular sources is twofold: to inform, and to entertain while doing so. You need to communicate the academic research so that a general (or popular) audience can understand it, and do so in an entertaining manner. Here, you will apply what you have learned about the rhetorical choices made in popular articles and your ability to recognize the important features and content of scholarly articles to your own adaptation of a scholarly article.
Translating research can be trickier than you realize: you will need to make choices about the kind of language to use, as well as what information to include and what to leave out. Make sure you are looking at multiple examples from your model for guidance. Also make sure you pay attention to how your popular model references its sources: most don’t use traditional citations, but still give you some guidance on where they got their material.
The translation should follow both the visual and written conventions found in your popular model. You will want to pay attention to the written conventions: organizational strategies, content choices, sentence and paragraph length, word choice/vocabulary level. Also pay attention to the content: what kinds of material does your popular model report on? Typically, popular sources report the very basics: what the study was on, where it was done, what the researchers found, and why the research is important. You may find, however, that your model varies from this model and you should adjust accordingly.
Look for stylistic cues as well; how do the articles in your model capture the reader’s attention? How to they entertain while informing? You will also want to pay attention to visual choices: picture type and location, use of columns, headings, logos, and any other visual cues that the article gives you.
Also make sure you pay attention to how your popular model references its sources: most don’t use traditional citations, but still give you some guidance on where they got their material.
The reflection should broadly address what rhetorical features you noted in the model and how you mimicked those features in your own translation. You can also reflect on any challenges or triumphs you had during the process. You can consider the following questions when writing your reflection.
- Which rhetorical features did you observe in your popular model? How did you mimic those features in your own article?
- How did you go about writing the article? What was your process?
- How successful do you think you were in creating an article that looks and reads as if it could be published as an article in your model's publication?
- Did you face any specific challenges in writing this article? What were they and how did you overcome them?
- Are you particularly proud of any specific aspect of your article? Why?
- What impact did the feedback you received on this project (from peer review, conferences, the Writing Center, or from any other source) have on your final project?
Both the translation and reflection should adhere to Standard Written English.
The reflection should be in 12-point, Times New Roman font, and be double-spaced with one-inch margins on all sides and no extra space between paragraphs.
Article choices for StP Adaptation
- A preliminary study of the effects of plastic film-mulched raised beds on soil temperature and crop performance of early-sown short-season spring maize (Zea mays L.) in the North China Plain
- Adolescents' Neural Processing of Risky Decisions: Effects of Sex and Behavioral Disinhibition
- Mental Illness, Mass Shootings, and the Politics of American Firearms
- No-till and conservation agriculture in the United States: An example from the David Brandt farm, Carroll, Ohio, International Soil and Water Conservation Research
- When does no-till yield more? A global meta-analysis
- Who Multi-Tasks and Why? Multi-Tasking Ability, Perceived Multi-Tasking Ability, Impulsivity, and Sensation Seeking
Models for StP Adaptation
- Hidden Brain (podcast)
- MythBusters (tv show)
- How It’s Made (tv show)
- Science Friday (radio show & website)
- Scientific American (online magazine)
- Popular Science (online magazine)
- National Geographic (online magazine)
- BBC Focus (news website)
- CNN's Space + Science
- Reading Games: Strategies for Reading Scholarly Sources - by Karen Rosenberg in Writing Spaces
- 12 Tips for Scientists Writing for the General Public - by Katie L. Burke on American Scientist
- Science Journalism - Wikipedia
- Appropriate Language - the Purdue OWL
- Use the navigation on the left to move through the different sections (Overview, Levels of Formality, Group Jargon, Deceitful Language and Euphemisms, Stereotypes and Biased Language, Appropriate Pronoun Usage)