As we begin to wrap up this month of research and map-making, the class has been divided up into different areas of specialization. My area of writing and editing the prose for the final project page is one that I’m particularly excited about. First, the other editor, Annika, and I made a shared Google document and started browsing some of the other project pages to see what types of information we’ll need to be writing about. On the document, we wrote down some of the different sections of the project that we know will need some explanation, like a general introduction to the project, what our sources are and where we found them, how we went about data collection, and leads for future Burleigh researchers to pick up where our research leaves off. Annika and I wrote a few general notes on what each section of the project page should entail and divided the pages among ourselves to start.
One of the challenges of writing for the public is the pressure that comes along with it. What I write is meant to explain the importance of our work over the past few weeks and show the reader how we went about the research process. The writing should not be overly academic, but it also needs a sense of formality that I wouldn’t use in something like a blog post. As I’ve started work on writing the introduction to our project, I’m reminded of just how easy it can be to write way too much. Staying concise is important for this type of work. For future writers and editors of research, I advise that you remember to keep your colleagues in mind, and don’t be afraid to ask for advice and receive criticism. As I start to write the prose for our individual maps, I’ll need to reach out to the specialists of that research and let them explain their work. In turn, they’ll revise my writing to make sure that it explains their research effectively. I’m excited to finally bring together a hectic few weeks of work and create a final, polished project.