As a writer in the real world, you will have to write on subject matters that fall far outside your areas of expertise or even interest most often than not. Therefore, as a content writer, you would be required to step out of your comfort zones regularly and get very good at learning new things quickly.
Having to write something you know absolutely nothing about can be really daunting. How do you begin? Where do you start the research from? What are the things you need to research over? Do you start writing first or research first? Are you researching too much? Have you gone outside of the scope of what you are expected to write on? These are some of the questions that spring to mind when you are writing on a new subject matter (get some tips for writing).
Here is how you can go about it when you are asked to cover a subject-matter that you know nothing about to help in a situation like this.
There is no need to panic; you have your work cut out for you. You have decided to write the piece, so deep down, you know you can do it. Just get yourself ready and get whatever you need to get into your writing zone (Learn about creative writing).
Google has a “define:” function. If the new topic contains words that you don’t understand, you can use this function. This is done by typing ‘define:’ and follow it with the word you’re after its definition into the search bar. This search will return with several definitions and highlight the one it thinks is the best at the top.
There are times this might not work; in such situations, you can proceed to use online dictionaries such as Dictionary.com or Oxford Dictionary. Here, you will find most words as well as a thesaurus section. Also, looking up the synonyms of a word helps to understand it better.
Now that you understand what you are supposed to be writing about, it is time to begin your research. The most important step in the research is finding out the information already existing on what you are writing on.
It would help if you spent a lot of time reading during this step, soaking in as much information as possible. Also, you need to identify credible sites to get actual facts and information on the subject matter. Also, you need to spend a considerable amount of time searching for keywords related to the subject matter.
Additionally, in the course of the research, make sure you search for different variants of the keywords to get enough information to use for your write up. Slight changes to the keywords can give you completely different results.
You have completed your research and gotten a substantial amount of information to use in your write up. It is time to sit down and write your first draft. Take what you have read and write them down as if they are facts. However, it would help if you endeavored to use words like about, mostly, close to, basically, etc. to make your writing less definite.
When writing about something you know nothing about, you will need to take the subject matter’s fundamental concepts to explain them and spread them out.
After your first draft, if you feel you need more materials to make the write up better, you should do more research. Use the new research you have done to edit your first draft and make it a lot better. Add more details, check the sentences for clarification, and ensure that it is easy to read and understand. You can repeat the edit step as many times as possible till you are convinced that you have gotten the best draft you can get.
Proofreading is an essential step in writing. No matter how boring it is, it is extremely important. It helps you pick out the error in the write-up and ensure it is perfect and free of error. If you are not great at identifying and picking up on your errors, it is advisable to give it to a friend, colleague, or a professional to help you do it. (Do you need help with proofreading your paper?)
Before turning in your write up, it is advised to check the facts included in your write up to ensure they are not false or misleading.