Choose the Right Type of Character for Your Story

In academic and professional writing, you will frequently need to explain complicated and abstract< concepts to your readers. However, most readers prefer explanations that are easy to follow, especially when reading difficult information.

In the video below, a group of chemistry graduate students explain their PhD thesis—with dance.

Their research group explains a new technology that’s been discovered for hip replacements: “Microstructure-Property relationships in Ti2448 components produced by Selective Laser Melting.” The subtitle, though, is much simpler: “A Love Story.”

This subtitle points out an important fact about reading: almost everyone can understand a difficult concept when it’s translated into a story with clear characters. These scientists use dance to make different kinds of titanium into characters in a clear story: in this case, a love story between titanium and bone.

Watch the video below to see for yourself. We think the following sections are particularly useful, though you should feel free to enjoy the entire segment:

  • :20-24, when Titanium is introduced
  • :29-31, when Bone is introduced
  • 1:28, when Titanium and Bone first try to bond, and
  • 3:02, when Titanium and Bone successfully bond

As you watch, consider what it is about this dance that makes an intricate process seem easy to follow. In this lesson, you’ll learn how you might be able to apply similar techniques in your own writing.

"Microstructure-Property relationships in Ti2448 components produced by Selective Laser Melting: A Love Story" <
Miller, Joe. "Microstructure-Property relationships in Ti2448 components produced by Selective Laser Melting." Vimeo. 2011. Web. 28 January 2013.<