• Syntactical

Short-Term Research Skills

Short-term research skills are their own beast. Some forms of research are conducted over a period of years and years, but copywriters rarely have that luxury.

What does it take to conduct effective research on a quick turnaround?

1. Narrow It Down

  • Information overload can paralyse you - rein it in

  • Whenever possible, narrow things down, both in terms of topic and angle

  • Maintain a consistent awareness of when you're on/off topic - it's easy for research to tip into procrastination if you don't monitor yourself

  • Outline, plan ahead

  • Be highly specific

  • Target your research

2. Focus on Memorable Details

  • When you begin to conduct your research, what stands out to you?

  • What you sound most enthused about is what your audience will remember

  • Choose concrete details to ground your writing - statistics, case files, personal stories

  • Create and emphasise succinct and powerful one liners

  • Choose the details that matter, lose the ones that don't - if you pack an article too full of facts, you put yourself in danger of losing your audience

3. Look For the Right Experts

  • The internet is saturated with self-proclaimed "experts"

  • Make sure that you're streamlining the research process by turning to the right sources from the word GO

  • Assess: What credentials does the source have? What evidence does the source present? How can I fact-check these claims?

  • Be sure that you understand the material correctly - misuse of academic language/misinterpretation of academic meaning will damage a copywriter's credentials

4. Don't be Afraid of Personal Touch

  • Nobody can know everything about a given topic after three days

  • Personal touch can fill potential knowledge gaps

  • Rather than focusing on what you don't know, focus on what it is that only you can bring to the article

  • How much wiggle room is there in the brief you've been given? Is there space for the anecdotal? For translatable experiences?

  • Find an angle, tell a story

If you're interested in Syntactical's flexible range of services, get in touch.

Cara x