Great idea, but no clue how to start? Here are 8 Tips for Writing About the Unfamiliar
From Guest Blogger Lucas Cappel| In a perfect world, writers would always get the chance to write about topics that they are knowledgeable and fascinated with. But it does not often work like that. As a writer, you are bound to find yourself writing on topics you are unfamiliar with or issues that are less exciting.
Having to create content about something that you have no idea about, whether it’s for a school project or a client, can be intimidating. Where do you start? Do you start with writing or research? How long will it take? These are but some of the nagging questions that writers have to deal with. However, the fear of the unknown should not prevent you from producing valuable and engaging content. In reality, a subject that’s not in your niche provides a chance to expand your insight and develop your network.
Here are 8 tips that will guide you in writing about topics you’re unfamiliar with:
Do Your Research
Begin your research with an idea of how you intend to gather and organize your notes and data. You can write your research in your notebook or use your computer to record notes. Whatever method you settle on, ensure that each quote, thought, and fact is tied to its source to make it easy to insert references as you write.
You should also have a research question or a working thesis before you begin. The research question will help you gather materials that provide answers to your question. It is tempting to accumulate a great deal of foundation material, but an excessive amount will waste your time without adding anything to your research.
Do not attempt to handle your topic all at once. Get what the subject matter is about so that you can create a framework of the things you have to comprehend and then deal with each section on its own. You will discover the connections between the pieces when you compose your first draft.
Team Up with an Expert
Before you begin, you have to get a good grasp on your subject. The more legitimate the sources and perspectives that you incorporate, the better. And what better way to accomplish this other than by teaming up with an expert.
Reach out to topic experts and ask them for an interview, quotes or great sources. To raise the probability of getting a response, only reach out after you’ve done initial research on the subject matter. You wouldn’t want to waste their time by asking questions that can be addressed through research.
The goal of getting input from an expert is to build material as quickly and as effortlessly as possible. It gives you an opportunity to ask them for help in putting together a paper that discusses common problems in their field. It will also help you get the general feeling on the subject.
Learn New Words
Found pieces of jargon that you don’t understand in your research? Use Google’s define function. Type “define” following it with the word that you don’t comprehend and search. The definitions will load in a few seconds, highlight the one you think is relevant. When this doesn’t work, you can always use a good old-fashioned dictionary.
For more recent words, you can use free online dictionaries such as Oxford Dictionary, Dictionary.com or urban dictionary. Dictionary.com has a thesaurus section that will be of help if you still cannot understand a word.
If after all this you still don’t get it, ask someone. It is wiser to inquire early and feel stupid than to wait until further in the writing process – this can waste both your time and money.
You’ve done your research, gotten information, facts, and sources. Now it’s time to lay everything out in a compelling way. It does not have to be perfect since it’s the first draft. Record whatever you can in one sitting. Avoid distractions as they will affect your productivity. You are allowed to take small breaks as long as you don’t get sidetracked.
Organize your content by using the primary essay structure – meaning that your essay should have an introduction, the main body, subheadings, and a brief conclusion. If you’re not familiar with this structure, you can familiarize yourself with it on any write my essay website.
If your subject is not exactly the most thrilling, try not to get discouraged. You can still create captivating content as long as you ask the right questions. For instance, do you have questions concerning the subject? If so, your readers might have the same problems. Search sites such as Quora for catchphrases relating to your subject matter and you will discover real inquiries regarding the issue. These questions can give an extraordinary “hook” for a somewhat dry subject, mainly if you can center it on your audience. They can likewise enable you to discover better ways to approach a theme that has been done repeatedly.
Take a Break
Once you complete your first draft, take a break. Get something to eat, watch a movie, hang out with friends, or take a walk to clear your mind. Do something that makes you happy. Research has shown that happiness increases your productivity by 12%.
Taking a break will help you to go back to the article refreshed and with a new perspective. The longer the break, the more vivid your point of view will be. You will be surprised to find out how different things can feel once you have distanced yourself from them.
Do More Research
You never know what else you’ll discover the second time. There could be a concept you missed in your first research, a book, an article or a fact that you need to incorporate. Google more variations of your subject to make sure that you don’t leave out anything. Confirm that you have the right citations for your material. Re-check facts. The more you research, the more educative your piece will be.
Incorporate the data you get from your research in your draft. If you don’t like what you’ve already written, start again. If you love what you’ve composed, go through it like you would through a stranger’s article. Use your proofreading skills to produce a paper that reads well.
Check for areas where you can include more details, provide more clarification and make your article easier to read. Repeat taking breaks, conducting more research and editing your document as required.
If you are writing the piece for someone else, forward it to them so that they can go through it and give you feedback. If it’s for a blog, send it to another writer or your writing partners.
Having someone else go through your work is an important step in writing. As the author, sometimes you can miss some apparent errors because you’ve gone through it several times. Another set of eyes will find grammatical errors, typos, and other small problems in your paper.
Writing about something that you have no clue about is scary, but it doesn’t have to be. If done correctly, it can be exciting and educative. Research is essential in every aspect of writing. If you don’t have your facts right, there will always be someone keen enough to call attention to your errors.
What’s your approach when writing about something you are unfamiliar with? Share with us!
About the Author
Lucas Cappel is a freelance writer and educator from Ohio. With a passion for education and philosophy of mind, Lucas strives to learn and share knowledge about knowledge and how our desire to learn propels us forward. Working as a managing editor at Custom-Writing.net, Lucas spends his free time entertaining impossible ideas and listening to Classic Rock.