10 Tips for Conducting Effective Research for Non-Fiction Writing
Every writer, whether you write books, articles, or blogs, wants to make sure the content they are providing is truthful, accurate, and educational. However, because non-fiction work is based on factual research, you'll need to know how to collect your research.
To write the perfect non-fiction content, you will need to not only grow your research skills but also provide quality content with as little "fluff" as possible. Whether you are a veteran in writing non-fiction work or you are a budding writer just about to start out, you're bound to learn something from this blog.
So, stick around as we delve into the top ten tips on how to perfect your writing craftsmanship in the domain of non-fiction! Are you ready? Because we are!
Writers Block? Crafting Effective Research for Non-Fiction Content
Research forms the foundation of all well-written content. There is no way around it. But not all research is good research. Confused? Let us explain further.
There are different types of research out there. There are those that are established by professionals in the field and those that deliver their opinions on different matters. You will find both of them during your search. The key is being able to distinguish between the two of them.
With the accessibility of technology at our fingertips every second of every day, we are prone to doing a quick Google search on anything and everything. But one cannot discount the importance of books in a physical library!
At The Urban Writers, we understand how important it is to find good quality research to base your writing on and around. We also want to see you succeed! So, we're going to give you the top ten non-fiction writing tips that are guaranteed to help you succeed with your content creation.
Research Skills That Leave No Stone Unturned
All research needs to start somewhere, but you also can't jump into research without some sort of plan! Knowing the reason why you are researching a topic will allow you to effectively perform your research to answer all the questions you have.
It is important that you have a designated space to perform your research. You need to make sure that your time researching is as productive as humanly possible. This means working in a place where you know you are able to get work done!
Whether it is at home at your desk or in a coffee shop with some music playing through your headphones, having a conducive environment to research and create content will only enhance the quality of the content you produce.
Define Both Your Purpose and Your Scope
Before you go ahead and start reading away, you need to ask yourself the following question: "What is the purpose of my research?" Your research will not be well targeted if you don't have a clear reason as to why you want to perform research.
Your "why" will also impact the different kinds of research you will perform. For instance, a blog may need a little less formal research to be completed than if you were going to be writing a textbook. This "why" will also dictate the scope of your research.
Analyzing your scope will ensure that you remain focused in your research efforts. You will also feel less overwhelmed by any irrelevant information that you may find while researching!
Create a Concise Research Plan
We all know the quote by Benjamin Franklin—"If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail." And this is the truth. An unstructured research plan will lead to unstructured research and poor-quality content.
Performing effective research for non-fiction content needs a detailed plan. Write down your deadlines, checkpoints, what information you need, and where you plan on finding this information. The fine-tuning and organization will come later, but you need the former to create the latter!
Another added benefit of having a research plan is that it saves you an insane amount of time hesitating about what you need to focus on. See, you can research and still have a balanced lifestyle! It isn't as difficult as many people make it out to be!
Visiting an Array of Diverse Sources
Focusing on one source of information can lead to you constructing your content based on a biased viewpoint. What you want to do is use many different and reputable resources so that you can gather a comprehensive understanding of your chosen topic.
To have well-rounded information, look into including books (both digital and hard-copy), academic journals, websites, and interviews with field professionals. The more diversity you put into your research, the more key points you will discover, and the more credible your content will be.
Make Sure to Evaluate the Credibility of Your Sources
What you want to do is avoid platforms and websites where any interested individual can contribute to the topic. The reason for this is that untrue information can be included, which will influence how you explore your topic in the future.
Lean away from sites like Wikipedia, and if you are writing something in the medical domain, for instance, lean toward Cochrane Library, PubMed, and Google Scholar. Most of the textbooks found in physical libraries are also very credible sources of information.
We advise you to remain inquisitive! If a website claims to be reputable, go ahead and check their sources. Do their sources come from well-acclaimed journals or research hubs? The more you dig, the greater the quality of your content will be!
Always Take Detailed Notes
As you research you'll need to take notes to refer back to when creating your content. Make sure they are detailed and concise. Include notes on where you found quotations, the sources you used, and ideas that popped into your brain as you were researching.
You'll want to use a system that works for you! Whether it is a traditional pen and paper method or a digital note maker, the more personalized your notes are, the more likely you will want to engage with them in the future!
You don't want to find yourself paging through notebooks of notes trying to find that one sentence. And you never know what research you'll be doing in the future. You may need the notes that you are creating one day!
Check Yourself and Remain Objective
As you start to interact with many different sources of information, you may start to unknowingly develop a few biases. To avoid this, keep asking yourself whether you are fulfilling the mission and purpose of your research.
Sometimes it isn't the always positive" research that catches the most viewers and post engagement, but more the content with a balanced representation of a topic's different perspectives.
But, if you find yourself struggling to remain objective with your work, then get in touch with us at The Urban Writers. Our vetted freelancers have objectivity at their core, ensuring that your research is non-biased, of high quality, and perfectly written!
Don't Forget the Paperbacks
When was the last time that you stepped into an actual library? You know, the one with the Dewey Decimal system. Chances are, it has been a while, and that's understandable, given how ingrained technology has become in our lives.
But a library houses a smorgasbord of information that surpasses our wildest dreams. All that you need to know is where to look. Librarians can go ahead and provide valuable assistance with databases that enable access to academic journals and scholarly publications that might not necessarily be available on the Internet.
Sometimes, we need to start at the roots, which is typically what one does when walking into a library to conduct research! They are easily accessible avenues to a wealth of information. Using it will always be considered an added benefit.
Make Use of Experts
Where possible, it may be beneficial to reach out to experts within the field you are researching in. Interviewing them, or even just asking them to fill in a questionnaire, can provide you with information that you may not find on the internet or in a library book.
But make sure you are prepared when contacting them. Many of the professionals are very busy, and them making time for you should be considered a privilege! Have key cards with possible talking points should they answer all of your scripted questions in the allotted time.
Always Stay Ethical
Ethical standards in research can impact who looks at your work, as well as how seriously your content is taken. Make sure that you respect copyright laws provided by your country. Take some time to familiarize yourself with these laws before conducting your research. You don't want to find yourself in a finicky situation that could have been avoided!
And, where you make use of websites, textbooks, or papers by a specific author, make sure to give credit where it is due. Where necessary, obtain the permission of the authors, and if they decline, respect their decisions.
You never want your integrity as a content creator to be brought into question. Not only will this help you avoid legal action, but the public will be even more willing to read your work when you are transparent about where you researched.
Always Revise and Update
You need to remember that research is an ongoing process and changes with time. With innovation being a core skill that many are striving towards, new data and information are likely to surface.
So, to make sure that you are kept up to date, after your initial draft, revise and update your work, especially as new information starts to become available. You want your work to remain current and relevant, and through revising your work you are ensuring happy readers!
The Skillsets At The Urban Writers
We at The Urban Writers completely understand that life gets busy and that you don't necessarily always have the time to put hours and hours of your day into research. Well, let us remove that burden from your shoulders.
At The Urban Writers, we have vetted and experienced freelancers who are the perfect fit for all of your research and content-creating needs. Whether it be SEO articles, a recipe book, or your first New York Times Bestseller, we have a freelancer that will fit your needs.
With our all-inclusive online platform that offers a simple and individualized experience to our customers, we pride ourselves in providing a service that surpasses that of our competitors.
Want to do some more research on us? Go ahead and look at the reviews from our previous customers to see why you are guaranteed top-quality non-fiction (and fiction) content when you choose The Urban Writers!
Becoming good at research is not something that happens overnight. It is a skill that requires cultivating! Knowing where to look to get the research you require can sometimes be challenging when you go at the task alone.
Thankfully, our top ten tips shower you with vital research techniques needed to establish the perfect amount and quality of research for your content creation needs. Remember, individuals are more likely to follow content that is ethically sourced, realistic, non-biased, and provides a degree of personality unlike any other creators in your domain.
We understand that not knowing where to start can feel very overwhelming. But we are here for you! Should you have any questions about how we can assist you, get in touch with one of our friendly consultants at The Urban Writers today!
Prepare yourself for the perfect content. You are now equipped to smash all of your goals. Why? Because you know how to research properly!