Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

This half-day workshop, delivered by the Science Editor from online news platform The Conversation, will support you to write for public audiences. If you have a question about this session, please contact Dan Richards-Doran

 

Before session, academics to:

  • Think about story ideas, using worksheet provided
  • Catch up on the news, by radio, TV, papers or internet

09:30–10:30    Presentation: how to write for a public audience

  • Why bother communicating research to the public?
  • What is TC, origins and aims
  • What does writing for TC involve?
  • What TC does and why
  • Why TC rather than another outlet?
  • Tips on style, tone and structure
  • The ‘banned list’: jargon and academic-ese (examples)
  • Who is TC’s audience and how to aim articles at them
  • The journalistic rather than academic approach
  • Identifying an angle - what’s new?
  • How to pitch - examples of good and bad
  • Examples of different approaches:
    • A piece about the academic’s own research
    • A response to someone else’s research
    • A listicle (“Top five…”, “Ten most…”)
    • Something irreverent/entertaining/unusual

Outcomes:

  • Gain familiarity of the aims, structure, way of working and benefits of TC
  • Learn to consider what elements of research and expertise could interest the public, and how to communicate it
  • Understand the style, tone and structure of articles written for the public

10:30–10:45    Chat/Q&A

10:45–11:15    Applying academic expertise to the news

  • Editor distributes daily papers (brought by editor)
  • Academics go through papers looking for stories in their field of expertise, or stories to which they could apply their expertise
  • Discuss how to approach this

11:15–11:35    Break

11:35–11:45    The Conversation site demonstration

11:45–11:55    Dealing with comments and conversation

11:55–12:35    Exercise

  • Based on worksheet academics have brought with them, discuss ideas for articles (allowing time for those without)
  • Each academic (or in teams of 3-4 if large group) pick one to develop. Write an opening paragraph and summary.
  • Discuss with group why topic is interesting to a non-specialist audience, or how to make it so.
  • Write a pitch for the article.

Outcome:

  • Identify good ideas to hone into stories, and how to put them across

12:35–12:45    Final chat/Q&A

Department seminars:

Full programme

Upcoming events

More events