While it is true that all writers have stories which they share in their pieces, it is also true that for writing to be very good it must cover more than just what the writer knows hence the importance of research.
The problem is most writers especially beginners do not know how to adequately research for their articles.
Today I share five smart research tips for writing.
1. Add PDF to your search queries. PDF (an acronym for portable document format) is arguably the most widely used document saving and distribution format. Adding PDF to your search queries will tell the search engine to bring up all available PDF documents relevant to your search and that’s a big short cut to getting lots of useful information.
2. Use Wikipedia Wisely. Over the years Wikipedia has grown to be a large information hub. However, as a writer you must be careful while using the resource. This is because Wikipedia is written by everybody who wants to with very little regulation. Its contributors are independent and the information they provide is mostly not well referenced. By the way you also can’t refer to Wikipedia for the same reason.
3. Use Google Scholar. Google Scholar provides the researcher with relevant materials like abstracts and summaries for free. This would save you a ton of resources and serve as a big boost to your research as a writer.
4. Follow cited texts from other books. Whenever I’m reading a book I mark the citations in it. After I finish reading it I go to those cited materials and get more information about the topic. As a writer knowing all that’s available about a topic is a good way of getting writing ideas.
5. Use library catalogues. This may sound obvious but most people won’t do it. Using the library catalogues would help you go to the right books straight away and prevent long periods of scanning through books which often result in skipping important information.
These five tips should make your research work as a writer more easier and enjoyable. Make sure you use them.
What other research techniques do you use? Tell us by leaving a comment.