Popular Press: Interdisciplinary Studies


Goal

Effective arguments written for publication in the popular press communicate ideas clearly in terms that can be understood by the general public or an audience unfamiliar with the field.

Structure

  • Grab the audience’s attention with a “hook” at the beginning of the introduction and connect the topic to something they find interesting or relevant.
  • Make the argument easy to follow by stating your thesis explicitly at some point and by signposting where the argument is headed next.
  • Use words and concepts with which the audience is familiar to describe ideas that are new to the audience.
  • Support claims with evidence from several disciplines.
  • Acknowledge counterarguments. 
  • End with something memorable.

Tips

  • Ask yourself, what would the nonacademic audience find interesting?
  • What format does your article need to take to suit the publication and entice the nonacademic audience to read your piece?
  • Why should the general public read or care about your argument?