We explain what popular articles are and what their characteristics are. Also, how to write them and some examples.
What is a popular article?
It is known as a popular article or an informative article to a type of informative publication and, in general, with a scientific or technological theme. Unlike technical or academic publications , it is written in the simplest, most democratic and understandable way possible, to ensure the access of the masses to simplified scientific knowledge.
In this sense, informative articles play an important role in simplifying and viralizing specialized knowledge . However, they are not always reliable sources of information since it is an interpretive, broad and often superficial version of the true scientific knowledge that supports it.
Even so, these are popular and in-demand readings around the world. They also usually give space for occult or pseudoscientific information, depending on the specific focus of the publication in which it appears.
Origins of popular science
Galileo Galilei published the first popular history magazine in 1610.
Science and specialized knowledge were never the popular domain in human history . In fact, for centuries the less favored classes could not even read.
However, since the Renaissance a gradual process of change began, in which the great thinkers and popularizers played an important role. For example, in 1610 Galileo Galilei published the first popular magazine in history, “ Sidereus nuncius” , where he explained his scientific discoveries.
Various publications of the time, such as Galileo’s, were written in Vulgar Latin (the variant of Latin spoken by the lower classes) instead of Classical Latin, so that everyone could read and understand them.
Characteristics of a popular article
- Objectivity. Popular articles should not expose personal positions, reveal opinions, participate actively in the event that the subject is open to debate within the scientific community, or make value judgments. They should provide information in a neutral way so that the reader can form their own opinion.
- Expert authors. Popular articles are not necessarily written by prominent personalities, the authors may be journalists or expert writers on the subject to be developed.
- Varied formats. The formats in which popular articles are presented can be varied, for example, in a magazine, on Internet sites , in online videos, in brochures, magazines for free distribution or books that compile articles or popular essays .
Structure of a popular article
Every popular science article consists of three parts:
- Introduction . It is a brief preview of the topic to be developed, in which the general information is mentioned so that the reader can quickly decode what the article is about.
- Developing. It is the complete development of the topic and corresponds to the body of the article, in which the greatest amount of pertinent information is detailed.
- Conclusion . It is the closing of the article as a summary , in which you can reiterate some of the most important points or provide relevant data that give meaning to the previous development of the article.
The difference between report and article
The main difference between a newspaper report and an informative article has to do with the validity or actuality of the subject matter.
In the case of the report, the news is essential, either because there was a great discovery in the area, because it affects the community in some way recently or simply because it is “in vogue.”
Informative texts, on the other hand, do not always respond to the call of the news , but rather address complex issues already accepted as scientific knowledge, seeking to make them easier to understand.
How do you write a popular science article?
You must have sufficient knowledge of the subject to explain it simply.
The steps to write a popular science article are:
- Investigate and inform yourself. You must have sufficient knowledge about the subject, to be able to explain it in a simple and understandable way to the general public.
- Identify the most relevant content. Not all aspects of the subject are of interest to the public. It is necessary to select the most important and what is necessary to decode the specialty developed.
- Maintain objectivity. Avoid subjective content (opinions or value judgments) or incorporate it by offering different points of view on the matter.
- Use simple language . Without getting to the point of underestimating the reader, it is important to avoid overly technical words or terms or, in any case, develop them briefly in the article.
Importance of scientific dissemination
The popular science articles are part of an educational apparatus that facilitates the general public access to the most academic, technical or specialized information , which allows us to form a “common sense” regarding the sciences and the rules of the universe that we have discovered. They contribute to reducing the educational gap between different sectors of the population .
Major Scientific Communicators
Among the most popular popularizers of science are:
- Isaac Asimov : Astronomy and other disciplines.
- Carl Sagan : Astronomy.
- Stephen Hawking : Astrophysics.
- Rachel Carson : Ecology .
- Steven Pinker : Psychology .
- Desmond Morris : Anthropology.
Examples of informative articles
Some examples of popular articles are:
- ” At the end of the space race ” by Pere Estupinya in El País.
- ” What are giant neurons for” by Victoria in Very Interesting.
- ” Imminent launch of the Parker Solar Probe, the space probe that will approach the Sun ” by Alec Forssmann in National Geographic.
The above content published at Collaborative Research Group is for informational and educational purposes only and has been developed by referring reliable sources and recommendations from technology experts. We do not have any contact with official entities nor do we intend to replace the information that they emit.