How to write a popular science summary

The summary of your thesis, which you must deliver in accordance with section 17.1 of the Regulations, must be popularized and adapted to a broader target group. Here you will find tips on how to do this.

Please use the Faculty’s communication adviser if you want help and guidance during the work on the summary. The summary must be sent to the Communication Section at the Faculty at the latest two weeks prior to the announcement.

You will receive feedback on the summary and an offer of help to disseminate your research in the media. The summary will be published in announcements of disputations on UiO’s webpages.


Explain the significance of your research for people unfamiliar with your subject area. Think about the benefits to society and the applicability of the research. What is new? Preferably use concrete examples.

Heading: Think of a brief, catchy title that attracts interest and highlights the message.

Start with the most important thing: Begin with the conclusion – what have you discovered?

Main point: Concentrate on one main point, not the whole thesis.

Avoid detail: Focus on the main features – avoid reservations and definitions.

Active sentences: Use direct language, avoid the use of ’one’ and passive structures.

Write concisely: One-third page with single spacing.

Write simply: Use everyday language and avoid specialist terminology.

Quote yourself: Feel free to use apt expressions or quotes from your thesis.

It is advisable to read the press release aloud to a friend who is not an academic. Does he or she understand the content? If the text is well-suited to reading aloud, it will almost invariably flow smoothly in writing as well.


Remember to send a digital high-resolution photograph of yourself. You must check with the photographer that the photograph can be published on the net. Give the name of the photographer together with information about who holds the copyright on the photograph. You can also contact the Faculty’s communication unit for help in having a photograph taken.

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Published Sep. 21, 2015 6:17 PM - Last modified Nov. 3, 2015 9:25 AM