Taken from my book Writing Your Best: 7 Secrets to Unlock Your Powerful Writing KEY #4 How to Research for Writing Topics
Research is an essential key to writing. You need more than prior knowledge. What I mean by prior knowledge is any experiences, encounters, and familiarities with a particular subject or topic. Adding the research component gives you more to say and write about in your paper, book, or overall content. I often find that frustrated writers cannot research because they don’t know how to. And, again this all goes back to our reading and vocabulary. What you don’t read could very well be the missing point in your writing that attracts people to your voice, style, and tone.
For example, let’s use the subject Fitness. If you’re writing an essay or blog, developing a website, or any at length content, here’s a great research approach.
Fitness is our topic.
Now we need to determine WHO we want to talk about or target (Depending on what or who you’re writing for determines an age bracket for it). For instance, if it’s an essay, talk about female training for specific sports or activities. Usually, in this case, students will be gender specific. Males talk about males and females discuss females. Conversely, writing content for a fitness website you’ll want to be as precise as possible.
Be as specific as you can.
We’ll target and talk about women age 40 who are looking for 20-minute morning workout routines.
Look specifically to answer these questions:
Who, What, When, Where and How
True. These are the five W’s in newspaper writing. They’re also the 5 W’s used for summarizing. But, in this case, you’re objective is to capture the researched information for your topic.
There are TONS of information in this area to help with research and writing. Why? Four main areas people are attracted to in their lives are Relationships, Money, Health/Fitness, and Religion. These same areas are also heavy hitters in business and marketing.
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Next, we’ll search non-fiction articles with the most shares on social media. There are specific websites that show you an exact amount of shares and likes for these articles. Everyone uses social media daily. Here is where your readers, customers, and clients live. You can search for these articles on Facebook, Instagram, Buzzsumo, Google (plus the other search engines), News and Magazine sites, Amazon and Kindle, etc. And, remember to look for non-fiction content with credible sources.
Research requires patience because it’s a lot of work. Don’t forget to cite your sources when using the ideas and statements of others. You don’t want to plagiarize.
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