1. BillyxRansom
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    BillyxRansom Active Member

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    How do you apply your research?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by BillyxRansom, Apr 8, 2009.

    I've copied and pasted my research into a Word document. Now I have to figure out how to apply the research.

    Do I take the research I've come up with, and keep it as part of the manuscript itself, or do I rewrite every little bit of it?

    Is there one, fail safe way to do this, one method that is to never be neglected, lest I run the risk of writing a sloppy novel that makes it evident that I don't know what I am talking about? Or can I choose one from a select number of ways to go about this?
     
  2. Dcoin
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    Dcoin Contributing Member

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    I have always been in favor of reading as much as I can on a topic and then let the information I absorbed come out naturally (I'm aware that may sound gross) as part of the narrative.

    To write fictional pieces with research as the overriding focus would place my writing into a box, or ultimatly produce realistic/historical fiction.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    That all depends on the nature of the research, and how it all fits in with the story.

    You should never use research data verbatim, though. That is plagiarism, unless you work the source into the narrative as well. Research should be from multiple sources anyway.

    In one of my early short stories, a handgun was involved. I have some familiarity with guns, but not much with handguns. I collected several pages of research, andcombined it with what I knew of other types of guns, for the sake of a few sentences where the character was handling a gun he had bought from a street contact. Most of the research was so I could more clearly understand what the character was feeling as he hefted the gun.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yeah, what cog said!
     
  5. rory
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    rory Contributing Member

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    Hope you don't mind if I ask a question in here but isn't it still necessary to cite the sources even if you don't repeat word for word? Or is it different for research papers and fiction writing?
    If that made sense...
     
  6. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    I actually had an argument about this with my cousin last night. He's taking a course on this sort of thing in university. Most novels don't have bibliographies, so in general (not that I am the expert here), you probably don't have to worry about citing unless you are quoting directly in your fiction. The grey area that my cousin and I argued about was Dan Brown's book because he stated in an intro that he used historical fact.
     
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  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you wouldn't cite any 'research' in fiction unless it's quoted verbatim... that said, some well-known fiction writers do give credit to sources on an acknowledgements page... i think both tom clancy and clive cussler do that, among others...
     
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  8. rory
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    rory Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the answers Rei and mammamaia. I always get nervous writing down something I've learned, even if it's in my own words. Plagiarisms equals kicked out of school, so I learned to cite everything. I might still for my fiction and keep it for my own interest.

    Sorry to hijack your thread. I'll give you my thoughts now in attempt to make amends.
    I think that incorporating research into writing is based a lot on personal preference, your own writing style, and what you are writing about. That will determine whether you should re write it or quote it. Also consider you target audience. Will they know the information well? Say you are researching, oh I don't know, rocket science maybe, and your target audience is children. They don't know much about rocket science as it is, so as long as you write confidently, you shouldn't come off as sloppy. Of course, just because our audience don't know the subject doesn't mean you can make it up either.
    Hope that helped a bit. ;)
     

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