Research: How It Can Change Your Story

“The message is clear: the way to construct your writing’s house is to build a deep, sturdy foundation of solid research that prepares you to ask probing questions when interviewing and develop the freshest angle possible when writing.  You accomplish this by taking as much care to refine your research skills as you do to improve your writing- being aware, always, of biases in your sources.”

 Before you ever begin to write, you need to do some research- and a lot of it.  Now, the first thing you need when researching is an inquiring mind.  The Art of Feature Writing gives great incite on having an inquiring mind and going beneath the surface- far beneath. 

 For example, you’re interviewing President Bennett’s daughter about how it is to be his daughter.  You also ask, how was the move, how is the house, how does school compare, have kids picked on you, do you see you’re dad as much, do people speak to your dad and ignore you.  You go well beneath the surface and before you know it, you know the latest teen trends and what teens are facing psychologically.

 Then, after this interview, you research teen psychology.  What the norm is today, what it was 20 years ago, and how things are progressing.  You use libraries (personal and public), you look into search engines such as Google and Bing.  Then, you go to teens Facebook and Twitter pages and observe what they’re talking about and the type of language they use. 

 Now, you’ve not only got a story on the president’s daughter- but you’ve got a series of stories on teens in the area, what they’re facing, and you include a tip in each article for parents and how teens can get help.

 Above all, research before and after an interview.  Use every outlet possible, and above all- give credit to work you used and do not plagiarize.  Good luck- and have a great day!