Being a writer, there will be times that you will have to write about topics that are very hard to write about. This is especially true when you are writing about controversial topics. This is because controversial topics are topics that certain groups have a strong opinion on and if you don’t write it the right way, there is a chance that you will give offense and alienate readers. This is why you should have a fool proof system on writing about controversial topics. That way you can minimize the chances of offending your readers. Here are some great tips on how to write about controversial topics.
- Do your research properly
Before you even set out on writing a book or an article on a controversial topic you should make sure that you conduct as much research as possible. Never insinuate or write about a controversial topic without the right research. This is because should you provide incorrect facts on a certain topic, then there is a real chance that you will insult your readers. Your readers will think that you don’t really care about the topic and that you are disrespecting the people who are involved in it. By providing the right facts, you will show your readers that you did your research properly and that the topic is truly important to you.
- Don’t take sides
When you are writing about a controversial topic you should know that there are likely sides involved. And each side has their own take on the topic. And you should know that if you take sides, you will alienate another. So it is a whole lot safer to be respectful to all your readers and to avoid antagonizing any of them. For example, you are to write an article on Israel’s territorial disputes. The disputes have been going on for years and countless lives have been lost because of it. And both sides have their own reasons and motivations to persist in the conflict. And being an outsider, you would not know how it truly feels to be in such a situation. So just write about the topic. Do your research and give your own opinion on the situation. But do not insinuate or criticize any of the sides. Criticize the conflict but not their ideals. That way you can write without insulting any of your readers.
- Do not over-generalize
Another mistake that you should avoid at all cost when writing is over-generalizing. Over-generalizing is bunching different people and things in the same category based on preconceived notions on race, social status or any characteristic. This is a surefire way to alienate your readers and it even has the potential to damage your reputation as a writer in the future. So when you write about controversial topics, avoid over-generalizing and have an open minded approach instead. It will save you from a world of trouble and make you a truly better writer in the process.
- Never get emotional
When writing about a controversial issue it is always a good idea not to get too emotionally invested on the topic. This is because it may lead you to becoming biased on a certain subject and in the end, alienate some of your readers who don’t agree. Although it is good that you have your own opinions on the subject, you should try to be as emotionally detached from it as possible. This will help you to avoid getting into arguments with your readers and help you focus on your writing.
- Respect is key
When it comes to writing about a controversial topic there is nothing more important than respect. Readers can be very sensitive, especially when it comes to controversial topics. So it is imperative that you take the opinions of your readers into consideration. Don’t write in a condescending manner or underestimate their intelligence. It is also important that you don’t write in an aggressive tone. Although you want to get your point across to your readers, you should never antagonize your readers. For example you write a story on a political issue in your country. You are very proud of the article because you believe that what you wrote encompasses your belief on the issue. But then a reader makes comments on your article saying that what you wrote is wrong. You would of course feel slighted. But as a professional author you should never stoop to their level. The criticism is part of being an author. So be respectful and try to defend your article without resorting to personal attacks. Remember that being a writer makes you vulnerable to criticism and your work is accessible to the reading public. So it always pays to be thick skinned and respectful towards your readers no matter what.