Unfortunately, as a freelancer, sometimes you don’t initially have all the required knowledge on the subject. So, you are forced to conduct some research on the topic.
Scratching the Surface
The first part of the research is the mostimportant. If you have little to no knowledge on the matter at hand, theintroductory research should be brief and broad, covering the topic as a whole.
Once you have an overview of the subject,you may feel like you have found your footing a little better, and so canconduct better research. Sometimes, in the early stages of researching you maystumble across something that you need to look into a little deeper, somethingthat you had not previously considered. This is why this overview is soimportant – it may give you new ideas and a new way to tackle the project.
Where to Research
Nowadays, it is highly unlikely that youwill go to the library to find your research. There is a multitude of onlineinformation that makes it way easier to access any knowledge within a matter ofseconds. However, not everything that you find online is trustworthy.
Knowing the difference between atrustworthy source and an unreliable one is difficult for some people.Generally, if the work has been published by a big company (such as awell-known news network) or someone of high status, then the informationincluded will be sound and reliable.
Another thing to take note of is the siteitself. Old websites that look dated may have been created by an amateur, andthus are not always the most trustworthy. Also, they may not have been updatedfor some time, meaning the information could be out of date. This is not to saythat all drab-looking websites are scams, nor that all high-tech websites arefactually correct; it is simply a rule of thumb to take into account.
Something that is often overlooked is theorganisation of things found during research. In order to do your job to thebest of your ability, you should note down things you find out or things youwant to include. This may be typed up on a Word document or scrawled on apost-it note, but it is important to take notes so that you remember to includethings.
Once you have finished your research, youmay choose to make a plan for your piece, incorporating all the information youhave found. This makes it easier to write the whole article with all theimportant bits included.
Research is an essential step in thefreelance writing process. It should never be overlooked, even if it may be themost boring part of a writing project. In order to complete your best work andimpress clients, all pieces should be written from a place of knowledge andunderstanding of the topic, which is why researching any topic is absolutelyvital.
Don’t be afraid to research. Knowledge ispower, after all.