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Research Guides

WRR308: Writing about Plants and the Environment

Developing a Script

When writing your video script, keep in mind that your goal isn't to document the entire journal article(s) you're reporting on -- instead, you're trying to tell a story about the research that's been conducted. Brainstorm key takeaways/implications (i.e. the "so what?" of the research) and don't be afraid to personalize it with your own thoughts, opinions, anecdotes, etc.

Key tips for TED-style talks:

  • Keep it short! (800 words, 5-7 minutes)
  • Limit your talk to one major idea—a throughline for the whole talk
  • Give your listeners a reason to care—stir curiosity, e.g. with a provocative question
  • Build your idea piece by piece—with concepts/language/metaphors your audience already understands
  • Make your idea worth sharing—a generous idea, with wide benefit

Repurposed from: Assignments to use your voice: Create a TED-styleclimate talk


Using the "inverted pyramid" approach can be a great way to grab listeners' attention by placing the most important information at the start of your video, followed by additional (but non-essential) information to supplement key points/takeaways. Keep in mind that people can stop watching at any time, so it's important to front-load when prioritizing your video talk's content!

Tips to consider:

  • Title: should be catchy and engaging; acts as the "hook" that prompts people to want to hear more
    • Brainstorm different keyword combinations and try Googling them to see what sort of results come up. Using keywords that tap into current buzzwords or popular topics of debate can be a great way to get higher engagement with your blog.
  • Key Information: details that watchers need to know; focus on main outcomes and conclusions
  • Supporting Materials: expand on key details to help viewers better understand the main takeaways; remember to be personal and tell a story!
  • Background Details: things that are nice (but not crucial) to know; is a useful place to point to additional/related information
  • Conclusion: reinforce the context of the work and provide actionable insights, i.e. a "call to action"


inverted pyramid structure for blogging

Borchman, R. (n.d.). [JPEG image of an inverted pyramid]. Retrieved March 12, 2020, from