The University of Sheffield
Writing a lay summary or blog post using AI Cheat sheet.pdf (70.66 kB)

Writing a lay summary or blog post using AI Cheat sheet

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posted on 2024-02-15, 10:56 authored by Andrew TattersallAndrew Tattersall

Most academics are taught to write in a certain way, in particular for outputs such as journal papers and reports. The demand to disseminate research across different mediums for impact means academics are expected to communicate in new ways. Writing lay summaries and blog posts can take researchers out of their comfort zone and as a result it can take much longer to write for a different audience. This brings with it anxiety as well as an issue around capacity and time. Learning how to write for a lay audience or the media does not come naturally to most academics. AI offers great potential for converting traditional research papers into lay summaries in as little as an hour. The following protocol explains how to do this. Please note that the results will vary depending on the complexity and topic of the research. For articles such as opinion and guest pieces and editorials, I would advise you to author these without AI as these are your ideas and written in your voice, although AI tools can be used to assist your writing.  

This guide can be used to create draft versions of:

Lay/Plain English summaries

Blog Posts

News articles

Scientific summaries

Press and media releases



  • There is no personal data or any that requires ethical approval


  • The data complies with the institution and funders' policies on access and sharing

Sharing and access restrictions

  • The uploaded data can be shared openly

Data description

  • The file formats are open or commonly used

Methodology, headings and units

  • Headings and units are explained in the files