The Issue section in the center of the box identifies and describes the overarching issue or topic that you’re addressing in broad terms. It’s the big-picture context of your work. This should be very concise and clear; no more than a short phrase. You might find you revisit the Issue after you’ve filled out your Message Box, to see if your thinking on the overarching topic has changed since you started.  

Questions to ask yourself as you articulate the Issue:

  • If you were looking for information about this online, what would be the 2-3 word search term you'd use?
     

  • What signal does your word choice send (i.e. 'climate change' vs. 'global warming')?

See Kathy Zeller's Initial and Refined Issue Section examples

Common questions about the Issue Section from our training and coaching sessions with researchers.

See how researchers from different fields use the Message Box to communicate with a variety of audiences

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