Sometimes I type out my research for copywriting jobs in full, word-for-word, instead of copying and pasting it. There are three key benefits to this, which I’ve talked about below.
1. It helps me understand my source material better
When I copy and paste something from a web page, I rarely feel like I pick up on what the source material means. This makes the writing stage more difficult, as I find myself going back to my research to work out what I’m supposed to be writing about.
Typing out research out forces me to pay attention to each individual word, and to identify what these mean when they’re all put together. The words bring the idea behind the material to life. Once I know what the idea is, it’s much easier to write about it.
2. It improves my economy of words
Typing out each word of my source material helps me recognise how to say it with less words. A writing tip that always gets shared is that you should get your message across with as few words as possible. If I can say something with 25 words or 23, I’ll go with 23.
3. It helps me get the tone of voice right
The gonzo journalist Hunter S Thompson used to type out pages of F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby to learn how his inspiration approached writing.
When a client tells me what tone of voice they want for their brand, I type out copy from other brands that have a similar TOV. I find this helps me to present their message using the right words.
There is one gleaming disadvantage to typing research in full: it can take up a lot of time. This isn’t great in a career field where tight deadlines are regularity.
But the more time you spend researching something, the more your understanding of it improves. And if you get asked to write about the same thing again, you’ll have a bank of research you can refer to.
What other benefits are there to typing your research in full? What other disadvantages are there? Feel free to start a discussion in the comments section.