This post is by Hannah Roberts. Hannah is currently a PhD Student in the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences
The British Library has recently launched a #ShareMyThesis competition on Twitter, challenging past and present PhD students to summarise why their PhD research is important in 140 characters or less. It’s a competition that is worldwide, and includes all subject areas. So I thought I’d give it a go!
I’m a regular Twitter user and so I’m used to the 140 character limit. As I rarely go near this, I naively thought that the competition would be a piece of cake! However, my first attempt to summarise my research ended in doubling the word limit with a lengthy paragraph. On the second try, I managed to fit inside the word limit but it didn’t make much sense.
After further attempts of trying to gain a balance between a healthy word count and forming a complete sentence, I’d managed to achieve 140 characters of what my research includes and why it is important, which was great!
However, I faced one more challenge… was it understandable to a non-specialist? After a few tweaks in the wording I finally hit the ‘Tweet’ button and submitted my entry.
This was definitely harder to do than I’d expected as the 140 word character limit was a challenge. Nevertheless, I also felt that being able to summarise my research in such a way was important. It gives non-specialists a snapshot of your research using less technical language.
Now it’s your turn! The competition is open until 9th February 2015 at 10am so get tweeting and comment below on how you found summarising your own thesis.