Something Out Of Nothing: Research Tips You Should Never Forget

By |2018-05-28T21:05:14+00:00May 28th, 2018|

When you’re about to write your article, you may face a particular conundrum: how exactly do you make sure your piece is giving proper advice? All articles need research, as you can’t possibly make something out of nothing. As such, research tips you should never forget are vital to ensure you get into your research game properly and write your pieces more efficiently. However, given how broad industries can get and how resources can stretch for miles without end, how exactly do you go about researching something?

It’s important that whenever you research, you always put yourself in the perspective of someone who wants to get a message out. What in particular do you need to make sure you get adequate information to substantiate a point you want to express? This is a good first step towards being a good researcher for your blog, and here are other tips you should follow:

1.) Try academic search engines: Most people would rely on Google for their search engine needs, which is not a bad idea considering Google is the largest of its kind. However, if you’re looking into specialized sources for your pieces, you may want to try opting to use an academic search engine, especially if you want reliable resources. For instance, you can try using Google Scholar, or BASE, or RefSeek in order to get more reliable sources of secondary information.

 

academic search engines2.) When citing, don’t just use the URL. When you’re planning to use a website as a source in your piece – especially if it’s an online version of a research study – don’t ever forget to remember the essentials: who wrote the page, what was the website, when was it written, and was it sourced elsewhere? Answering this information and using them when citing sources can help readers know that you’re not just blatantly stealing information. In the below article, it’s best to make sure not only do you get the URL, but also information such as those below. You can then cite this as, “According to a paper by Amy Mitchell and her peers, as published in the Pew Research Center, …”When citing, don’t just use the URL3.) If you can access a document online, use that instead of a website: If there’s a way for you to actually be able to link to a document (say, a .PDF) of a research or an academic study, use that instead of the website that is using the same study as a research. Use the website as a reference to your understanding of the study, but always try to give reading the entire thing a go in order to get your own unique take on the subject.

4.) Follow the source trail: If people say you shouldn’t cite Wikipedia, they’re probably right because Wikipedia is majorly a freely-edited medium. While there are trustworthy editors who check the facts, it’s important to remember that citing Wikipedia isn’t necessarily a good move for you. What you can do is learn the facts from Wikipedia and instead try to find their sources. This is good behavior you can utilize on all other studies and websites you can see. Try to find the end of the trail where it doesn’t lead to any other website, and that is probably the original source.

Follow the source trail5.) Take note of industry figures, and note them down: If you’re tasked to research or write about a particular industry, take note of people they mention or are frequently interviewed. These tend to be experts and industry figures that are noted in their respective fields. Try to take note whenever they appear in a particular website, as the information they specify might be of extreme use to you – and may even lead to better topics for your website.

6.) What if you ask for help for tougher questions? Places such as Reddit or Quora, or even industry experts themselves (if you have some way of contacting them such as a website or an e-mail) may be able to answer your questions for you, and may even lead you to reliable sources (or be sources themselves!) This gives an online community “flair” to your research, and may even give a dash of creativity that can appeal to your audience.

 

The Takeaway: Decide On Your Direction

Given your topic, you’re likely going to be able to deduce an angle you want to pursue in order to express your points properly. Given this angle, you can actually determine the kind of information that can help you substantiate your points. Once you pinpoint that direction with the tips above, your research woes can actually be alleviated. Stay tuned, however, as we’re going to do actual research in a few articles to come.

 

 

 

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