No Research is Waste

I was great to have the opportunity to hear Thomas Hager, a science writer, speak about how he writes. I was particularly fascinated by how much Hager spends researching the material and information that he will be writing about. He explained that for his books or publications he often spends far more time researching than he actually does writing. He also explained that he chose to write this way because he wanted to ensure that he was providing the full story and providing enough detail. By using this technique the audience is not only able to imagine the scene or story, but is actually able to feel apart of the story. I found one of his anecdotes to be very interesting where he described a trip he took to an island. He was planning to describe this island in his book and felt that he could not successfully portray the scene unless he had experienced island himself. It turns out that he only wrote one sentence about the island in his book, yet Hager did not regret this excursion at all. He emphasized that even though that one sentence may have been a small fraction of his entire story it played a very significant role in enhancing connecting the audience to his book.

I am similar to Thomas Hager in that I have difficult time writing about something unless I have actually experienced or researched it thoroughly. I also have to agree in the sense that I think researching could play a more key role than the actual writing process itself. The research of details provides the content and the foundation for attracting an audience. Without any use of specific details, examples or real material, the story behind the words is dull and lacks any potential to attract readers for a connection.



One thought to “No Research is Waste”

  1. Definitely makes sense. How can an author write about a topic without either experiencing it personally or doing a substantial amount of research about it. Reminds me of the expression “measure twice cut once,” but replace “measure” with research and “cut” with write.

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