essay neuroscience

Guidelines for preparing your New Scientist-style article

Overview: Prepare a journalistic style scientific magazine article (i.e., New

Scientist-style article). The article should review and critique the Journal of

Neuroscience article provided to you in a style accessible to a non-expert


• 750 words (excluding any text associated with diagrams or


Brief info about the topic:

• New Scientist is general readership scientific publication written in a

journalistic style that it is accessible to non-expert readers. These

articles usually promote a specific scientific discovery in a positive light.

Your article should adhere to these principles; you should assume that

the reader has a degree level education, although not necessarily in


• The use of non-scientific language, simplification of concepts, diagrams

and analogies is actively encouraged. Use of acronyms and scientific

jargon should be minimized as much as possible, again unless clearly

defined and explained.

• Your article should adhere to the formatting and styling of New


• The Journal of Neuroscience article you have been provided with, as

well as possibly 1 or 2 other related papers should be the only in-text


Cite the articles/source material as part of the narrative, not in

Harvard style (e.g. a study led by Professor X at the University of


• No bibliography is required.

Marking criteria


Did the student present the essay in a written style suitable for publication in

New Scientist, with adherence to formatting and styling? Did the

student use language appropriate for non-experts, simplify concepts,

and write in a journalistic, not scholarly, style. Does the essay have a

high standard of punctuation and grammar? Are the sentences

structured correctly? Is the essay free from typographical errors? Is the

use of abbreviations minimal? Are capitalisations used correctly?

2. ORGANISATION: Did the student organise the article in a logical order.

Is there a clear flow of ideas? For example, is there an introductory

paragraph that gives background information, clearly articulates the

aims, and leads into the main body of the article? Is there a

concluding/summary paragraph?


Is there evidence that the student hascritically evaluated the research? Is there evidence that they understand the significance and limitations of the study? Do they

highlight the strengths, weaknesses and future studies that are

required to substantiate any claims made? Is there evidence of the

student’s own evaluation of the quality and reliability of the data?

4. RESEARCH CONCLUSIONS: Did the student demonstrate a unique

synthesis of ideas, by examining related works, in order to generate

their own conclusions?

5. OVERALL IMPACT: Did the article leave a lasting impression on the

reader? Is the reader left engaged by the article and likely to want to

find out more? Were there any novel features of the article not

classified elsewhere?


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