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Cambridge Global Food Security

An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge

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The Conversation - Writing for a Public Audience Workshop

by CID Coordinator Allyson Walsh
When Apr 25, 2018
from 10:30 AM to 01:00 PM
Where Biomedical Campus The School of Clinical Medicine, Seminar Room 10 CB2 0SP
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10.30 am Coffee and Pastries- networking time

11am- 1pm: 2 hours workshop - with break.

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.

Become familiar with how to navigate the site editor and how to use metrics to track engagement.

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

WRITING FOR A PUBLIC AUDIENCE – 1.5 to 2.5 hours
20-30m Presentation: how to write for a public audience
● What is TC, origins and aims
● What TC does and why
● Why bother communicating research to the public?
● What does writing for TC involve?
● 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 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

15m Chat/Q&A Opportunity for
questions and
clarifications

10m Site demonstration
● Editor takes attendees through the TC online editor
● How article editing works, preview and history record
● Demonstrate “traffic light” readability system
● Note approve button and disclosure statement
● Show dashboard and article readership metrics

30-40m Exercises:
● 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

More information about this event…