The Message Box is a tool to help you sift through the mountain of information you hold in your head about your work, and identify the essential nuggets for your chosen audience. The Message Box consists of five sections to help you sort and distill your knowledge in a way that resonates with your audience. It's flexible, so you can use it for a wide variety of purposes and audiences. It's based on the scientific underpinnings of how to communicate effectively (before you begin working on your own Message Box, it’s helpful to understand a few key science communication principles).

Don’t expect your first draft to be your final draft; people often start out providing too much detail in each section, and then refine and distill sections with each new version. Through each iteration, you will make choices about what’s most important, and whittle away at the language until it succinctly captures the key messages that you want to convey about your work. By the end of the process, you should have no more than a few lines for each section.

There isn't a right or a wrong way to use the Message Box, though some approaches will work better for certain audiences. The important thing is to get started!


It's also important to know that the Message Box isn’t a linear process; you can start in any section that makes sense to you, and work from there.

Ready to use the Message Box to help you distill your research? Let's get started. 

What Is The Message Box?

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