I chose a journal article about how researchers in Pakistan have been improving rain water capture methods by digging a special trench near the crops they want to keep alive. These trenches are called microcatchments and they are surprisingly effective at keeping water where it’s wanted despite abysmal soil conditions.
It took me a long time to figure out which information my audience would be interested in. Initially I presented some of the science near the top. This tends to make eyes glaze over. During revisions, I switched to explaining why there was a problem, and why conventional solutions couldn’t be used by relating the situation of the research’s target population to an American.
I kept in mind rhetorical elements such as purpose, point of view, and tone. I tried to frame the development as something people should be excited about, even if it wasn’t personally useful to them. A US citizen probably does not know (nor care about) the rainfall conditions of every country in the world, nor the general infrastructure grade, so I included just enough information to make the point that the research was significant. Lastly, I kept in mind my purpose – to hook a journalist and give them enough information to write a feature.
A direct link to the document as a pdf is available here.View Fullscreen