3 Quick Writing Tips on How to Organize your Research
An Easy Way to Write a Book
I’ve actually used all of these 3 methods to organize my notes as I’m discovering how to write a book the most efficient way. It’s very easy to get a sense of overload with your research if you don’t have a method to organize it.
Let’s talk again about the outline for writing your book. Some people can put together a very general outline that has a beginning, middle, and end and then just run with it. What I usually do is take it a few steps further.
From that general outline, I start to ask some questions about what the reader wants to learn, or which questions they want answered in order for them to feel a sense of satisfaction after they read the book. Very often, this expanded outline will become the Table of Contents for the book that I’m writing. I will often get some subtopics in there as well which end up being the various chapters of the book.
The first type of research collection that I use when writing a book uses notecards. With this research collection you will write an individual thought, or note, on each card. Only put one thought or one piece of information on each index card.
When you are done with your research you will have:
- A series of notes for each topic, or each chapter of your book
- The reference for which sources those notes came from so when you do quotes or need to get permission from the source, that information is readily available
- A framework for each chapter for your book. Each chapter should be pretty well written at this point and all you need to do is organize the sequence of the notecards and then add the magic of your own words, thoughts, and conclusions based on the research that you have done.
The second type of research collection is through the use of hanging file folders. This is also another handy way to get your book pre-written. If you’re wondering if there is an easy way for how to write a book, then arranging your notes in various file folders could be your answer.
Just like with the index cards, each folder is related to a specific chapter and all the notes you collect on that chapter go into that file. Then, when you are ready to write, just pick up the file for a particular chapter, go to the coffee shop, and start writing your book!
The final collection method of your research for writing a book is similar to the hanging file folders, but everything is placed in electronic format on your computer. You have a main folder for your book project. Then, when that folder is opened, you will have a folder labeled for each section of your book. In those subfolders will be all the information that you have been collecting.
This may sound like a non-glamorous way of writing a book because there is no image of a fairytale muse given you inspiration to write the next great novel or non-fiction book. However, it works.
You see, the whole time you are gathering your research, you subconscious is taking it all in. Then, when called upon, you will be easily able to craft a very desirable book.
After all – you muse lives in your subconscious! This type of research and organization of your thoughts is just giving it time to seep and age to perfection.
I hope that these three tips for collecting research when you are writing a book are helpful. I would love to hear about any other methods that you have found useful in your writing adventures.
Until next time…