Tips for Researching

Whether writing an article, post or novel research is vital. Research should be logical and organized for writing, citation, and avoiding any hint of plagiarism. 

The rule of research is that a great deal more knowledge will be gained than used for your piece; but a solid foundation gives authenticity to your writing and your voice.

1. Writing about a general or familiar subject, or if the setting is in your hometown, the research required will be less time consuming.

2. Research has a pre-writing role.

3. Consider the areas you need to delve into, for example, era, community, lifestyles, specialized jobs, area employment, health issues, and education.

4. Simplify your delivery without dumbing down the facts, and putting your reader off by an impersonal, authoritative voice.

5. Avoid exposition. It’s better to weave in details and keep the reader’s interest.

How do we gather the resources and knowledge needed to research a topic?  It takes a lot of reading, searching, and selection. Here are some ideas:

• Investigate your topic through web-searches.

• Gather a list of books, documents, and oral histories to explore.

• Use professional journals, magazines, and pod-casts.

• Take research trips, tour specific areas, and consult experts.

• Keep a journal for your research, resources and materials.

• Be sure to verify each source and to confirm its credibility. Not all sources are created equal. Work to prove credibility through established works that recognize industry professionals in the field you are studying.

• Research material requires analysis and interpretation to be effective in your piece. Choices await as we glean points specific to our focus.

Dive in, plan-ahead and have fun!
Research takes up-front time; let’s begin while working on other projects.

Deborah Lyn Stanley is a writer, artist, and editor.  She is a retired project manager who now devotes her time to writing, art and caregiving mentally impaired seniors.  Deborah writes articles, essays and stories. She has published a collection of 24 artists’ interviews entitled the Artists Interview Series.  Careful editing preserves each artist’s voice as they share their journey. The series published as monthly articles for an online news network, can also be found on her web-blog: Deborah Lyn Stanley - Writers Blog.  Her “How-To” articles have appeared in magazines. 
“Write your best, in your voice, your way!”
“Explore, Dream, Discover”

1 comment:

Karen Cioffi said...

Deb, great list of resources to use when you need to do research for your story. I currently writing a sequel to my children's middle grade book and I'm at the point now where I need to do some research for authenticity.

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