Most people think that being a good writer means being able to produce beautiful pieces of written material right off the bat, but thankfully, that is not true. As is true with quality production, perfecting the final product takes planning and effort, and writing is no different. Shakespeare did not write “Romeo and Juliet” in one day.
I like to think of writing like building a building. Let’s consider the steps to building a quality building? Here they are:
- Setting the Goals
- Gathering Material
- Build it
Just like if were to try to build a physical structure without any of these elements, the final product would not be sturdy, so too a quality written piece needs to be built properly. For example, a well-planned building that is built with sub-par building material will never be a great building. And so on for each of the other building elements.
So let’s analyze the elements of good written material.
Setting the Goals
What is the purpose of your writing? Consider what you want your written material to accomplish. Some examples of purposes for written material are to
- convince the reader of your opinion
- ask the reader to take an action
Once you have set a general goal, it is time to consider the format that you will use to accomplish that goal. Here are some examples of writing formats
- basic facts about the subject
- general overview
- Deal with a few specific aspects, or one specific aspect, of the subject
Whereas planning a building structure requires a blueprint, planning a written work of art also requires adhering to general plan. Write up a plan including what you want each paragraph to be about. This will make gathering research material much easier, because you will already know what you need.
Once you know exactly what you are going to write about, you will quickly be able to identify whether information that you are researching is pertinent to the subject or not. Now you can begin to collect pieces of information on the net or in the library. Don’t get bogged down with this step, you are just gathering material that fits into your subject right now, don’t try to figure out how it all goes together at this point, just get as much interesting info as possible.
Go according to the plan in step two and start presenting the interesting information that you gathered in the third stage by writing, in your own words, the best things that you found in your research.
By following these four steps researching your subject will be a more efficient process, the writing stage will go quicker, and the final product will be of higher quality. Give it a try and tell us what you think below. Good Luck!
image credit: Stuart Miles