Talking about research
The ability to convey the details and significance of research to non-experts, to translate it for the average person, is not an easy task… but what is the point of research if nobody understands it?
CFN’s Citizen Engagement Committee has been working on creating a set of guidelines to help researchers communicate about their work to a broader, general audience, entitled “Guidelines for Research Project Summaries”. A seasoned researcher provided a project summary as an example for the Committee. It had been revised with the goal of a grade 8 reading level, but ended up being a grade 14 level. The author commented on the fact that this was an eye-opening exercise as well as a good learning opportunity on how to share research findings in a more accessible way.
The guidelines include some general rules and tips for writing a research summary, as well as links to readability tools, and a “before and after” example. We encourage everyone to consider the guidelines when writing for the general public, since it’s not as easy as it looks! Check out the guidelines now (en français).