How to Write on a Topic You Don’t Know

How to Write on a Topic You Don’t Know
July 14, 2017 3 Comments For Authors, Writing Advice Melinda Harmon

Writing on a topic you know well is already no easy task, because even though you know the basics, you still are required to put it in words. Trying to write about something you know nothing about is for obvious reasons, much tougher. Unfortunately, we do not always have the opportunity to write on topics we are passionate about. It’s still important to take on those topics that a foreign to you. Although it is challenging, it is not impossible. All you need to do in this situation is research and there are methods you could use that will help you write a great piece.

Don’t panic

This is my first tip, because you cannot move forward if you are overwhelmed. I am not saying that this is easy or should be taken lightly, but you need to remain calm so you can focus. If you give up before you start, it is going to a whole lot harder. Focus on the task at hand and remain positive. There are many writers who are required to write about topics they know nothing about. It is completely possible for you to write on this topic and do a great job at it. Start believing that and you will find a way to get the information needed to produce excellent content.

Start your research

Of course, you are going to have to do your general research on the topic to get an idea of what you are working with. After that, you will take each section and dig a little deeper. The internet is that first place we go to research, but please note that everything online is not always true. I would suggest you make sure that the source is correct and try academic research over the internet. This is not do disclaim an internet search, but you might have to use your own discernment to decide which facts will make it into your final piece. You should use a paraphrasing tool online to prevent any plagiarism when you copy information from any source, or give credit to the source.

Speak to the experts

Just because you do not know much on the topic you need to cover, there might be someone in your circle that does. Ask around and find those people. You can set up an informal sit down where you can get as much of their knowledge down. This is a great place to start, because one learns much better through conversation than in a book. You can even ask random people about their opinion on the topic and you can include your findings in your writing. This will also show that you went the extra mile to do somewhat of a survey and have collected a good amount of data.

[Tweet theme=”tweet-string”]one learns much better through conversation than in a book. @ourwriteside #research #writingtips[/Tweet]


Forums are a great place to get real experiences on your topic. You might want to use paraphrase tools or an article rephraser when you directly quote someone else. There is the opportunity for you to start a topic on a related forum and gather information from the responses you get. I like this one, because I believe that humans have so much more to say and no one needs to pretend on a forum. You will get real facts from the horse’s mouths, but you have to be wise as to what will benefit your writing and which the emotional responders are. The internet might be a diverse space, but there are people out there who are willing to help a fellow researcher.

Start writing

Now that you have gathered all of the necessary information, it is time to start writing. Do not enter this with fear, but rather with confidence. You have already come this far and it is time to do it. Start by creating an outline of your work and see where there are gaps and which sections you want to do first or last. The outline will help your writing flow better and give structure to your work. This is a very important step in your writing. You are doing this based on facts, so there might not be a lot of emotion that goes into your writing. You are just going to have to fake it until you feel those emotions that allows an average writer become a great writer.


You have got this down and your writing piece is going to be amazing. See this as a challenge that you are going to beat and do really well at. I love writing about topics I know nothing about, because I always learn so much during my research. This knowledge would not leave you and the next time you have a similar topic, it would no longer be one you know nothing about.

Melinda Harmon Melinda Harmon is a content manager and an amateur writer. She specializes on writing useful posts about writing, writing tools, and how to improve writing skills. Melinda dreams of publishing her own book and helping people know more about writing.
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