Scientists conduct research by conducting experiments and gathering information through surveys, literature review, and relying on academic transcription companies to get recordings of interviews transcribed into written form. Transcripts can be studied in detail, and linked with analytic notes and/or coded. All of this material is then used to produce the written research report that describes the key elements of the research project.
Scholars believe that their research work has great value to society and that’s why they need to focus on sharing their results with the general public. The best way to do so is to develop skills to write for the lay audience. However, most academic writers find it a challenge to write magazine articles that can be read by all.
Here are some tips to overcome the barriers that scholars face when writing for the general public.
- Make sure it’s easy to read: Your goal must be to educate and help and for that reason, you need to write well and ensure that your article is easy to read. Your audience is a diverse group – different races, classes, religions, languages, cultures, lifestyles, and educational levels. Easy-to-read text is critical to reach a vast audience. Using familiar words can help. Writing clearly and concisely will make it easy for ordinary people to digest difficult, technical and specialized material.
- Learn how to pitch: You need to learn how to introduce your story idea, and explain your point of view and argument. Learning how to pitch will help you tell your audience why your idea is important, unique, and timely. Crafting a compelling first sentence will help set the tone for the rest of the piece.
- Keep it lively and crisp: Resist the tendency to write authoritative and unemotional sentences, as you would do when you are producing a scientific report. Choose your words carefully and avoid the passive voice as far as possible. Vary sentence length and style. Write passionately and in a conversational style. And remember that when it comes to length, less could be more when you’re writing for a modern audience that is always in a hurry.
- Write to resonate with your audience: It could be a great idea to use active verbs and write in the first person to communicate the personal angle of the research. Writing the first person will help you establish credibility with your readers. However, developing a personal narrative requires special skills.
- Ensure excellent spelling and grammar: Poor grammar and spelling mistakes can create a bad impression and make you look sloppy. So before you publish your material, proofread it and correct any grammatical/spelling errors.
- Edit, edit: This is as important for general writing as well as for scholarly writing. A professional editor can help you improve the quality of writing, phrasing, idea presentation, and overall flow.
- Write to reach the public and to impress your peers: Scholars should write for all audiences – the general public as well as their peers. Present your subject in a manner that can relate to readers’ interests and concerns. Using statistics can help drive home the significance of your work.
It has become increasingly important for scholars to communicate their findings and share their insights and experience with a substantial audience. To reach people who might benefit from their research and win, they need to avoid jargon and doublespeak and learn how to communicate effectively. Fortunately, there are a wide range of resources available to support writers such as literary resources, research and documentation general transcription services, online spelling and grammar check, handbooks, revision and editing services, and more.