This follows on from Effective Science Writing, Part 1. It is completed in Part 3.
Creating a beginning.
- The plain news piece. This is fairly ordinary, and also fairly common. You simply write up a discussion of what a scientist somewhere has reported and then explain why it is important. You will always need a bit of polishing up, but you can set the scene first, and then cut to the new discovery.
- The direct question. This is a fairly straightforward situation where you ask the reader if he or she has ever considered why something is important.
- The indirect question (I was showing a trigger plant to a friend who asked . . .)
- The completely irrelevant anecdote that suddenly becomes relevant later on in the piece, or even at the very end. This one works well when you are a bit older, and have the experience to think of an anecdote you can use.
- The atmospheric, a trick piece where you set the scene and then work your way in from there. This is a subset of the irrelevant anecdote, but it can work very well.