This template will help you quickly break down the paper you're translating into its most important components. It’s the first step of writing an article for Massive after we approve your story pitch.
As you write, imagine you're telling a story to friends around a dinner table. Use simple, descriptive, active language and try to highlight the most important, interesting and impressive parts of the paper. Here are some additional tips if you need help getting started.
- Paper Title
- Paper DOI
- Write a plain language summary of the paper. (1-2 sentences)
Pretend you’re explaining it to your grandmother or a nine-year-old cousin.
- List five different reasons why this paper is important to scientists, to the public, and/or to you personally.
Why should your audience – whether it's other scientists, policymakers or the public – care about this paper? One of these points will probably end up being the “nutgraf” – that is, the central thesis – of your piece.
- What is the main point, argument or central thesis of YOUR proposed story about the science? (1-3 sentences) What is your 'take' on this research? What's the main take-away for your readers?
- Describe the historical context of the paper. (2-4 sentences)
What previous research is this paper building on? Is it challenging, confirming or extending existing ideas, branching out in new directions, or something else? And distinctly, is there a personal story of how the paper came to be — what made the scientist interested in the question being addressed? Is there a backstory to the research?
- What challenges did researchers face when they started investigating their hypotheses? (1-3 sentences)
- What tools and techniques did they use to try to address those challenges and why? Are they unique? (1-3 sentences)
For example, did they have to invent new techniques, adapt existing ones in interesting ways, or discover that a counterintuitive approach worked best?
- Do you see any holes or limitations in their methods? (1-3 sentences)
- What open questions were left by the paper? Are there obvious next steps for researchers in the field? (1-3 sentences)
- Provide links to any media that you think is absolutely necessary for a reader to see, hear or interact with (photo, video, audio, interactive, etc.).
We can only publish certain CC or open licensed material, but we can also create some of our own media based on existing work.