Research Writer Interview With Becky
What Makes A Good Research Writer
What drew you to writing?
I've been a word geek all my life. As a kid, all of my teachers used to say I had diarrhea of the mouth. I guess, since they wouldn't let me talk in class, all those words got bottled up and had to come out somehow.
What do you like most about writing?
I think the written word is awesome. Unfortunately, good writing is not as common as it used to be. It used to be that you could really get lost in a good story. These days, writing is often "dumbed down" for readers. It's insulting as a reader and a writer when I see that. As a writer, my goal is to share the written word with other people and to allow them to either get information from my words or, when I write fiction, to visualize my story in their mind.
By writing academic papers for students aren't you encouraging the "dumbing down" process?
Not at all. I've known students who, even at the Master's level, can't, for the life of them, formulate a sentence, let alone write a research paper. Once a student gets to that point, you have to wonder about the school system that put them there. My belief is that, once a student has a resource for obtaining good writing without the pressure of figuring out how to create it, they are bound to become interested in the source. In essence, the student that commissions my work will probably, hopefully before he or she submits the paper, read what he or she has spent hard earned money on. It's in the reading that the information, and maybe even the format, begins to sink in. And, when the student gets a paper back with a good grade, they are bound to wonder what all the fuss is about. It's kind of a trickle down theory of learning.
What do you think makes a good essay writer?
First, a writer needs to have an insatiable interest in words. I've never met a writer that wasn't an avid reader. Again, it's that written word that fascinates us - whether we write it or someone else does. I've been known to read every inch of a cereal box just to have something to read. I read constantly. Second, a writer needs to have an insatiable desire for information. There isn't a person alive that doesn't learn something new every day even if that something is merely a new acquaintance's name. It's human nature to learn, like it or not. Taking that learning to a new level is what writers of research papers do. We actively seek out information. We like research and we like learning. I think that those two things, combined with at least a mediocre talent for communication is what makes a good writer.
How do you approach writing a paper?
It depends on the paper. Some of the more technical ones are, of course, harder to wrap my head around than others. I love the challenge of taking just a topic and a blank piece of paper and turning it into something that someone may find interesting to read. It's really neat to think that I have created that. My goal is not only to make a paper interesting and factual, not to mention worthy of an exemplary grade, but to seek out information that is not commonly known so that when the reader finishes reading, he or she has a sense of "gee, I didn't know that."
Do you see writing as a lifelong pursuit?
Absolutely! I can see myself writing forever. I'd like to think that there won't come a time when my writing will become stale or boring. If it does, I guess all those words will get bottled up again!
Random writer: /writer-oliver