New Class: Research Before You Write

I am putting together a class on the research you need to do before you start a new nonfiction writing project. For many new writers, one of the trickiest parts of writing nonfiction is getting the research done.  It can seem overwhelming if it is something you have never done before.

The class will be four weeks long:

Topics and Slants:  This will focus on doing the necessary research to see if your idea is already in print as well as how you can devise multiple slants to get the most out of your research and to adjust your idea if you do find something in print.

To Market:  How to find markets for your writing projects as well as how to make sure they are the kind of markets you want to approach.  Not everyone has the same goals but there are a variety of signs that can tell you if a market is legit.

Starting Your Research:  Some people think that they can’t use any secondary research in their work.  Secondary sources are among the best for finding the broad strokes on a topic.  This week will cover the difference between primary and secondary sources as well as how to find the most reliable information that has already been published.

Primary Sources:  This week will focus on why you want to include primary sources as well as where to find primary sources online and “in person.” There will also be information on how to do photo and map research and how to conduct interviews.

I am still fairly early in the planning process so this rough list of weekly topics may change as I take it to final.  Why am I posting about it now?  Because I want to make certain that I am covering the information that other people need.  You can help me by answering any of the following questions.

  • What information would you find helpful in a course on research?
  • What topics would you expect to see covered?
  • What aspect of research do you find difficult to master?
  • What am I forgetting?

I’ve been noodling this over for some time but always find it useful to get the opinions of other people.  Thank you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s