Nonfiction Writing Tips
Six Nonfiction Writing Tips for Beginning Authors
While non-fiction writing may not bring to mind damsels in distress or daring gumshoes, it does require a fair amount of imagination. In addition to acquiring the knowledge and resources required to produce an accurate and interesting piece of writing, a nonfiction writer must also use a crafty combination of creativity and thoughtful planning.
Before we get started, there are two ground rules for nonfiction writing. First, it has to be factual or based on fact, hence the name. Second, avoid plagiarism at all costs. If you use a quote or paraphrase other authors, you must give them credit. While it’s acceptable to seek inspiration from other works, sentences and ideas should never be copied verbatim. Here are our six tips for writing a nonfiction piece:
1-Select the type of writing you would like to create and pick a subject to discuss. If the task is an assignment, then this information should come from the entity requesting the work. Possible types of non-fiction works can include travel, news, instructional, or other types of factual article. Nonfiction works can also include longer pieces, such as books or scholarly papers.
2-The next step is to conduct research into your subject matter. If you are already an expert, then less research will be required. Just as with fiction, it is always better to write what you know. However, writing about new topics can give you an opportunity to learn. Try to only select reliable resources, including peer-reviewed journals, books, and websites with a .gov or .edu address.
3-At this point, you must organize how you will present the information by selecting which information to include, the order in which that information will be addressed, and the tone you would like to use to present that information. You can either plan this in your head or write it out in the form of notes or an outline, depending on how you best work and the length of the piece.
4-Then, you can begin writing. Do not be afraid to reference your references, the thesaurus, and any available style guides.
5-Once you have written to the desired length and/or covered all of the topics you would like to cover, reread your work and keep your eye out for the following issues:
-Does the first line catch the reader’s attention?
-Is the information presented in a logical order that is easy to follow?
-Do the sentences and paragraphs flow smoothly?
-Are all word choices appropriate and effective?
-Is there unnecessary wordiness?
-Does it meet all of the criteria you set out to accomplish?
-Correct these issues as needed.
6-Finally, you should edit your work to check for any typos, punctuation errors, or spelling mistakes. Even if your work will be edited after submission, perhaps by the amazing team of proofreaders and copyeditors at Verbal Ink, you should always ensure that your writing makes a good impression.