Writing for Popular Audiences

This workshop deals with issues around communicating your research for popular audiences. In particular the differences between research articles and news and online media are dealt with. The workshop involves practical writing tasks focused on writing texts such as micro-blogs, press-releases, newspaper articles, and websites. Participants will see how the audience and structure of news and online media can affect how research comes across.

Audience: Researchers, experienced or novice, staff or postgraduate, who are publishing research and wish to improve their skills at writing for popular audiences.

Mode of delivery: This is a workshop style event, requiring participants to work individually and in small groups, as well as to occasionally contribute to whole group discussions. Workshops are interactive and based on experiential and reflective learning models. The content is evidence based, drawing on linguistics, sociology and education research on research writing. All activities are practical and directly relevant to writing a research paper. The workshop can be run for between 8 to 20 participants, ideally in a workshop/seminar room equipped with workshop tables.

Length and timings: The workshop is 1 day long, for example run from 10am – 4pm with 1 hour for lunch, and one 15 minute coffee break.

Resources: The tutor brings packs of interactive materials; participants should bring pens and paper and a laptop, if they wish; the tutor provides a comprehensive workbook to the institution for printing prior to the workshop; a flipchart and pens or white board is also useful, though not essential.

Previous client(s): University of Stirling; ResClim, Norway’s national graduate school for climate science

Participant comments: (2012-2013) “Worthwhile introduction to writing for wider dissemination of technical topics to lay audience”, “Very interesting”, “Helpful for learning how to write press releases, and for writing in general”, “Great overview of different ways of writing”, “Good instructor”