Popular Science Essay – How to Write?

There is no one reliable recipe for creating a popular science essay. Writing texts is unfortunately not a kitchen. Nobody will tell you what specific ingredients to use; in what order and proportions to mix them to get the desired effect. In fact, each text can be approached a bit differently, and this approach changes with the topic and the person of the writer. This is even more visible in the essay than in other types of texts, because this genre is characterized primarily by subjectivism. It is a statement intended to represent one specific person – its author. You. Regardless of the topic, your point of view is the most important thing when you’re writing an essay.

1. Study the topic thoroughly
2. Write down your thoughts and make a selection
3. Organize the material
4. Pay attention to the language
5. Be true to yourself

Therefore, as mentioned, there are no strict guidelines here. But they are not needed either, because the essay, also of popular science, is a genre that leaves the author free to shape the text. It is even said that all tricks are allowed here – which is probably not entirely true, but it points to the essential – you have to express yourself; present the topic as you see it. Hence, the following guidelines are not sanctified and unwavering principles of essay writing – they should not be treated as such. These are just tips that can help you put your thoughts on paper.

1. Study the topic thoroughly

Familiarize yourself with the literature on your issue. Not, God forbid, to repeat other people’s views and conclusions (subjectivity of the essay, remember!), But to be able to respond to them and, more importantly, to know what has already been said on a given topic and what you can add new, fresh from myself on the same point. In what will what you want to write different from the thoughts of your predecessors? Because you would probably agree that if your essay was merely a duplication of what can be found in other texts, there would be no reason to write it. It would at most become a kind of compendium of knowledge on a given topic, a collection of available information, but it would not necessarily be an essay.

2. Write down your thoughts and make a selection

The essay itself may (and should) have a loose composition, but that doesn’t mean you should allow chaos to creep into it. Sometimes it’s hard to resist the temptation to write whatever comes to your mind on a given topic, but it seldom brings good results.

So before you start, it’s a good idea to write down, without caring about the order and composition, all those thoughts that are bothering you about the topic of your essay. Don’t limit yourself, write everything down. All possible theses, aspects of the case, conclusions, associations.

Once you have that in front of you, it is time for a selection. A moment ago you could post everything that came to your mind. That was what it was about, but now it will have to be sifted. Assess which thoughts are worth adding to the essay.

Discard what is trivial and threadbare. Give up what does not add anything new to the topic – unless you feel that you are able to present old thoughts in a new, original way.

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3. Organize the material

What is left of the selection now needs to be sorted out. It is important that you can see the relationships between the different elements and be able to define the nature of their relationship. Are they analogous? Does one flow from the other? Or are they in opposition to each other?

You will surely notice that certain elements, thus connecting with others, will create certain, larger or smaller, groups of related content. The largest ones show which of your theses and thoughts connect with the greatest number of others and, as such, are ideal for organizing larger wholes (for example chapters) around them that will make up your essay. And if you are really lucky or capable (or you just found your dream topic), you will be able to combine these larger parts to create a homogeneous, coherent whole.

Of course, it’s not like you have to stick to it once you’ve made that selection. At each stage of creating an essay, you can say that some elements that have passed this screening positively, now somehow do not harmonize with the resulting text. They are poorer in terms of content or just seem to stand out from the rest. In this case, of course, feel free to throw away what raises your doubts. Better that the essay be concise and specific than if it turned into a lengthy list of subsequent motives that you felt compelled to “tick off”.

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