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January 31, 2023
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v2.1 Reference

Subatomic Writing

Six Fundamental Lessons to Make Language Matter

See science writing fundamentals afresh through a subatomic lens!

In Subatomic Writing, Johns Hopkins University instructor Jamie Zvirzdin goes bravely into uncharted territory by offering a totally new kind of guide for writing about science—from the subatomic level up! Subatomic Writing teaches readers that the building blocks of language are like particles in physics. These particles, combined and arranged, form something greater than their parts: all matter in the literary universe. The six levels of language covered in this guide create writing that illuminates and energizes the reader to feel, learn, change, and act. This interdisciplinary approach helps scientists, science writers, and editors improve their writing in fundamental areas as they build from the sounds in a word to the pacing of a paragraph. These areas include

• Sound and sense
• Word classes
• Grammar and syntax
• Punctuation
• Rhythm and emphasis
• Pacing and coherence

Equally helpful for students who need to learn how to write clearly about science and scientists who need to hone their writing skills to create more effective course material, papers, and grant applications, this guide builds confidence in writing abilities as old skills are taught in new, exciting ways. Each lesson provides exercises that build on each other, strengthening readers' capacity to communicate ideas and data, all while learning basic particle physics along the way.

About the Author

Jamie Zvirzdin (OLNEY, MD) teaches science writing at Johns Hopkins University and researches ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays for the University of Utah. Her writing has been featured in The Atlantic, Kenyon Review, and Issues in Science and Technology.


"Jamie Zvirzdin's brilliant, engaging writing guide Subatomic Writing is ostensibly here to help those who write about science, but her clear explanations, practical lessons, and gift for metaphor will help anyone struggling to assemble words into coherent strands. Who knew that the building blocks of language shared so much with particle physics? A wonderfully unique guide to vibrant writing."

- Dinty W. Moore, author of The Mindful Writer

"Metaphor is both the food of science and the spice of language. Jamie Zvirzdin links principles of physics with those of grammar and linguistics, adds a pinch of poetics, and serves up a tasty guide to scientific thinking and writerly writing."

- Christopher Joyce, Correspondent, Science Desk, NPR

9781421446127 : subatomic-writing-zvirzdin
Paperback / softback
January 31, 2023
$29.95 USD

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