25 Oct Research Essentials: The Good Doctors Top Tips for Writing
The Good Doctors are back with their research essentials features, outlining key parts of conducting research as well as highlighting the services that we can offer here at Abbey Research. For many people, the biggest question when facing a large writing project is simply: where to start? In today’s blog, we are going to outline some simple and easy steps to follow when beginning to write up research. Even if you are not necessarily confident in your writing skills there are several steps to take which will ensure a successfully written paper or report.
Steps for Writing:
- Organization: know your findings and make a plan. Perhaps the most important part of beginning to write is ensuring that your research and analysis are organized. There are a range of organizational models which can help you to collate your research – it is worth taking time to explore and experiment to find the one that best suits your approach. Organizing your findings will help you to identify patterns, analyze themes, and decide on findings. Knowing how your brain works best is also key to creating a writing plan. Creating a detailed outline of your written work will help you stay on track, while ensuring that you have enough data/research material to support your claims.
- Writing tools: ask for help and read about writing. Not everyone is a great writer and it can certainly take some time to build up skill sets and confidence in writing. Therefore, it is not necessary (nor advisable) to undertake a large writing project alone. Just as we advise you to read about different methods for conducting research, it is vital to read about different methods for writing. Know what standards are expected of you (by your university, lecturer, company, or supervisor) and attend seminars or online tutorials to help with areas of concern.
- Start writing: do not overthink organization and put it down on paper. Anxiety or fear of failure can sometimes stop us from writing at all. Even if you are unsure about your writing style or content, or the effectiveness of your argument, you will have to stop prepping and start writing. Working through your arguments by following your plan can help the writing process and you may find that your ideas or your plan will change as you work your way through your argument. Setting yourself writing goals for each day, either by word count or segment of the project, can help keep you accountable to the writing process.
- Drafting: leave yourself time to rewrite, edit, and write again. The key to successful writing is making sure you leave enough time to go through several drafts. While some people may function best through procrastination, adding extra stress and pressure to your work will only hurt the final product. Take breaks in between drafts so that you approach your writing with a clear mind each time. Have other people read your report – whether your supervisor or someone who has no knowledge of your topic. The best way to find out if you are communicating effectively is to have someone else read what you’ve written.
Following these steps will keep you on track for your writing project and help make sure that your writing is focused and effective. Tune in to our next Research Essentials feature where we will address how to write for both formal and informal audiences!