Research tips for script writing

The foundation of a great explainer video script lies in its research. Unless you are already an expert in the field, explaining a complex or detailed topic needs thorough research. A carefully researched script enhances the quality of the video and determines the success of the explainer video, but the challenge is to write a script that is clear and concise. So, what is needed in order to do effective research for a great explainer video script?



Choosing research material

Viewers will watch your explainer video primarily because they want to learn about the topic that you explain. For this reason your video needs to include the necessary knowledge to clarify the topic sufficiently. Those who watch your explainer video will expect you to know what you are talking about – so, if you want to make a professional explainer video it is paramount that you conduct thorough research. Even the smallest mistake can make a big difference to the credibility of your explainer video. Make sure that you use reliable sources of information. Do not just assume that all online material is reliable. And, if you come across contradictory information, investigate further to establish the correct information.



Save all your resources together in one place so you can easily find them later. Create a research document for “original research material”. Then organize research material in such a way that you can find information quickly. The best way is to number articles / sources and to highlight relevant information in each text. Make sure to also put a reference at the end of each source of information, in case you want to revisit the website. When you come across a key piece of information, copy the relevant text (and its link) and paste it into your research document, so that you can easily revisit it.




Remember to be concise – so, right from the start, cut down to only the essential information. As you read through your research document, highlight information that you will definitely use in one color and information that you need to revisit in another color. Copy the highlighted texts and save them as “Draft 1”. Then start to re-write the information in your own words. Once completed, save this document as “Draft 2”. Edit “Draft 2” and save it as a new document, called “Draft 3”. Now begin to set the information as part of a story. Once completed, save the document as “Draft 4”… Numerous drafts may be needed, but continue to edit and improve your script until you are satisfied with the outcome. (Use different colors to highlight areas in your drafts that you need to come back to. E.g. use different colors for double-checking, additional research, or re-wording.)


Use time wisely

The aim is to carry out comprehensive research in as little time as possible. Look for articles that are concise and to the point. Keep your research focused on the key factors of the topic. Brief overviews are often very useful. If well-written, these should give you the essential bits of information needed for a short explainer video script. Of course, the amount of research time needed will vary, depending on your existing knowledge of the topic. However, make sure that you do not overburden yourself with too much research material. For a short explainer video a maximum of 3 sources should be sufficient for the writing of the script. Preliminary research, that gives you a general feel for the topic, may include more reading material and videos, but set a time limit for yourself to work through the materials.


Thorough research for an explainer video script is a fundamental step in video creation. You may find that 20% of your efforts count for 80% of the video’s success! The more effort you put in at the research stage, the better the script will be. With the necessary research conducted successfully, your explainer video script will have depth and authority. It will have the potential to become a great explainer video that is a legitimate and valued source of information.