Nobody can master the art of storytelling in a day, and regardless of where you are in your career, research is the key to great storytelling. By doing research and taking notes, you can come up with tales that will resonate with your readers, thus ensuring the success of your stories.
This guide will show you how to get started with research for storytelling, with tips and techniques for finding the best stories and making them your own. Before you start brainstorming story ideas or writing your first draft, here are some tips to help you do effective research. So, grab a notepad and let’s get started!
How to Research for Storytelling
Research BEFORE You Start Writing
When you sit down to start writing, it’s important to do your research first. This will help you to understand your topic and find the best ways to approach it.
It can be tempting to just start writing without any preparation, but this will often lead to a cluttered and disorganized piece. By taking the time to research your topic, you’ll be able to structure your writing in a way that is both logical and easy to follow.
Additionally, you’ll be more likely to include all of the important information in your writing. So, before you start putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard), make sure that you take the time to do your research. It will make all the difference in the quality of your writing.
Use a Variety of Sources
When you’re researching a topic, it’s important to use a variety of sources in order to get the most accurate and well-rounded information.
This means more than just consulting multiple websites—although that’s a good start. Try to find sources from different perspectives, including books, articles, experts, and even primary sources whenever possible.
The best information is often found by reading widely and critically, evaluating each piece of evidence in light of what you already know. With some effort, you can find the best information on any topic.
Take Good Notes
So you don’t have to go back and track down information later!
It’s happened to all of us: We’re in the middle of writing a paper and realize that we can’t remember where we found that crucial piece of information. Or we’re studying for an exam and come across a term we can’t define.
The best way to avoid this problem is to take good notes when you’re researching. Whether that means highlighting important points in a textbook, copying down the names of websites where you found your information, or jotting down definitions on a notepad—it doesn’t matter what method works for you. Tracking down the needed information can take valuable time that could be spent actually writing or studying.
Notetaking doesn’t have to be complicated. Just write down the key points and ideas as you come across them. If you’re using a textbook, look for helpful features like glossaries, chapter summaries, and index pages that can make it easier to find specific information later on. And if you’re taking notes by hand, be sure to date them so you can tell at a glance how recent they are.
By taking a few simple steps to improve your notetaking, you can save yourself a lot of time and frustration later on. So next time you’re stuck trying to remember where you saw something, just check your notes—it’ll be there waiting for you.
Organize Your Research
One of the most important steps in writing a successful research paper is organizing your information in a way that makes sense for your story. All too often, people simply gather random facts and hope that they’ll fit together later. However, this approach almost always leads to a disorganized and incoherent final product.
A better strategy is to start by clearly defining your article and then looking for supporting information. This way, you already have a clear outline in mind as you’re gathering your resources, which makes the writing process much easier and more effective.
You can also take advantage of helpful tools like outlines, concept maps, and mind-mapping software to help organize your research. Whether you just want to outline the main points of your article or create a detailed visual representation, these tools can make it easier to plan your writing and ensure that all of the key ideas are included.
Once you know where you’re going, it will be much easier to determine which facts and details are relevant to your writing. From there, you can begin to put together an outline of your story and move forward with confidence. So take the time to plan your writing, and you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches later on.
Be Prepared to Changes
When you set out to tell a story, you may have a pretty clear idea of what your topic is and what you want to say about it. However, as you begin to do your research, you might find that your story changes. New information might cause you to revise your perspective or change the direction of your article.
While this can be frustrating, it’s actually a good thing! It means that you’re taking an in-depth, critical approach to your research, which will make your writing much more interesting and effective. Part of the research process is learning new things and then adapting your ideas based on that information.
Of course, if you find yourself drastically revising your story or creating an entirely new one, it’s a good idea to go back and update your research notes as well. This way, you’ll always have the most current information available when you’re ready to start writing.
So, the next time you find yourself changing your story along the way, don’t be discouraged—it just means you’re doing your job!
Make Sure You Give Credit
Research is an important part of writing any paper or article. Without research, it would be difficult to support your claims and arguments. However, it is also important to give credit to the people who helped you with your research.
When you cite someone in your writing, you’re showing that you respect their ideas and giving credit where it’s due. And if you don’t take the time to cite someone, it can be easy to run into problems later on—especially when your writing is published or plagiarized in some way.
Ultimately, citing sources helps to reinforce your own credibility as a writer. By demonstrating that you’re familiar with the existing research on your topic, you show that you’re well-versed in the subject and have conducted a thorough review of the relevant information.
As a freelance writer, one of the most important skills you need is the ability to do effective research. This involves gathering information from a variety of sources and using that information to support your writing. There you have it, a freelance writer’s toolkit for doing research like a pro so you can write stories that resonate with your audience!
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your writing career. With patience, dedication, and practice, you’ll be able to write stories that capture the imagination of readers everywhere. Good luck!