Steps in Constructing your Storyline

Constructing your ‘story’

  1. Think of your research account as a ‘conversation’.

  2. Become familiar with the craft – Very few authors are not avid readers. One of the most effective things you can do is find ‘good’ examples of what you intend to write.

  3. Find a voice – There is likely to be a tension between ‘engaging storytelling’ and ‘take me seriously reporting’. How to best negotiate this tension will depend on you, your goals, and your readers’ expectations.

  4. Develop your structure – Decide on a structure and work up an appropriate outline for your write-up early on.

  5. Craft the storyline – Whether you opt for a traditional or alternative structure, your report will need to take your readers through a clear, coherent, and hopefully compelling storyline with a beginning, a middle, and an end.

  6. Be ready to make convincing arguments – It is essential that you write purposefully. The quality and credibility of your write-up is largely dependent on your ability to construct logical and convincing arguments.

  7. Write/construct your first draft – You can think about it, and you can keep thinking about it, and you can think about it some more, but it will not happen unless you do it.

  8. Get appropriate feedback – Reader expectations can vary widely, so do not wait until the last minute to find out that your approach is inappropriate.

  9. Be prepared to redraft – This should be an expectation. In fact, as discussed below, very few people can get away with submitting a second draft or even third draft, let alone a first.