Writing for Insights builds on what you have learned in How to write for The Conversation. It focuses on how to write longer articles (of around 3,000 to 4,000 words) that will grab a reader’s attention and keep them engaged.
It explains key techniques for developing a compelling narrative out of your research and these techniques will help build suspense, take the reader to the heart of the story and maintain their interest throughout .
The skills learned here will help you to develop and pitch a longform story idea for The Conversation’s long reads section, Insights.
These skills will also come in handy when sending ideas to other feature-led websites aimed at a general (non-academic) audience.

Who this course is for:
Academics, PhD candidates and researchers affiliated with institutions that are members of The Conversation. You will get more out of this course if you have completed the How to write for The Conversation course, or if you have some experience of writing shorter articles for a general audience, or have previously written for The Conversation.

After completing this course, you will be able to:
• Identify the elements of your research that best suit a longform article.
• Develop a narrative structure
• Learn how to keep a general audience hooked.
• Employ journalistic writing techniques that bring your research to life and place readers on the spot and inside the story.
• Pitch your story in a way that makes clear why it is worthy of a longform treatment.

Text on a grey background which reads: I was a bit intimidated by taking on the word count of a long read as it was a lot more work than just summarising our study, but I am glad I did. It put the findings (of our research) in context and stands as a more valuable resource than just a study summary.  I was invited to write a book on the topic. Kimberly Nicholas, Associate Professor of Sustainability Science, Lund University. Beside the text is a headshot of Kimberly who wears glasses and a dark green top.
This course is led by:
Mike Herd
Investigations Editor, Insights
Mike spent more than two decades at The Guardian, during which he launched and edited Guardian Cities and the Inequality Project, having previously been deputy editor of the News, Features and Sports pages. He also advised on the launch of the Wellcome Trust's longform site Mosaic, and more recently dusted off his Economics degree to become the Consulting and Cities Editor at Oxford Economics.

Paul Keaveny
Investigations Editor, Insights
Paul has been a journalist for 20 years. Before joining The Conversation he worked as a news reporter for BBC news online and has also worked for The Sun and The Press Association, working mainly on breaking news and court reporting. He specialises in commissioning and editing long-form journalism for The Conversation's Insights series.

Enrol on Writing longform features