For researchers: Writing for a lay audience


Researchers are now expected to be able to communicate their work outside academia – but this requires a very different approach and writing style to those used in academic papers or grant bids. This course helps academics understand how to think about the audience they’re writing for and tailor what they write accordingly. It provides them with the skills needed to write accessible and engaging copy. Although the focus is on writing for the media or for project websites (opinion pieces, blogposts or news items) the skills are transferable to impact statements and lay summaries.

Course Length

Half day - 3.5 hours

Number of Delegates

The course is designed to work with a maximum of eight delegates per trainer.

Who should attend:

Anyone actively carrying out research – from PhD students onwards, although it’s probably less suitable for students in the first year of their PhD.

What to expect:

  • Guidance on general principles
  • Practical exercises
  • Analysis of good and bad writing examples
  • Group discussions and hand-outs
  • Advice and information to put the skills learned into practice

What you’ll learn:

  • How to identify the audiences for your research
  • How to translate academic findings into a story of interest to a lay audience
  • What kind of lay writing is likely to be asked of you
  • How to write a news story on your research
  • How to provide interesting quotes about your research
  • How to write a ‘pitch’ to interest a media outlet in your story
  • How to write an opinion article or blogpost
  • Where to start and which outlets to target
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