Conveying Research to Everyone

The readings that we have completed so far have sought to teach us as researchers about effectively communicating our questions and results to those outside of our field of study. A strategy that I could use to explain the importance of my research to someone outside of my field could be, like the readings have suggested, to work on reducing the amount of jargon present in a presentation. This might not help to explain the significance, but it is an important first step in communicating effectively. For instance, it would be a good idea for me to explain what a “symposium” is in general terms before I try to reference Plato’s work of the same name. Another strategy would be to make sure to relate my concept and findings to the modern aspect of my project as much as possible. Classics is a field that isn’t often seen as super relevant to us today, but a main point of my project is that it is—what people were thinking about and talking about thousands of years ago is still what they are thinking and talking about today! I would encourage my audience to think about this research and its questions in the context of their own lives as well as to consider the purpose of my research. As stated above, one of the main purposes of my project is to connect the present and the past together, but the other main purpose of the project is to connect people with each other (by making the interview recordings publicly available).  

An audience outside of my field that I might need to interact with when pursuing my professional goals could be the members of a committee for a fellowship, grant, or scholarship that I wish to apply for. Not every funding opportunity is going to be field-specific so it is important that I get comfortable with communicating effectively outside of members my area of study. Another audience could be students—if I decide to teach then it is very likely that the people sitting in that classroom would not be super familiar with the specifics of the field (especially when it comes to jargon). By working on this effective style of communication I would be a better instructor.

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