With any writing assignment, it’s important to conduct thorough research and find reliable sources to create exceptional content. This can be a daunting prospect without the proper researching techniques. Here are some of the most effective research methods.
A good way to conduct research is to interview experts on the topic for which you are writing. You can interview them in a podcast, as Jason Hartman frequently does, or in a blog post. There’s also the potential of simply using the information the interviewee provides as a one of a kind resource to further the content.
The most popular method of researching is online with Google and other search engines. While there’s nothing wrong with this method, it does require some amount of finesse. It’s important to refine your search to find the best sources of information. This can be done by identifying keywords. For instance, if you’re researching exercise, you may also search aerobics, strength training, etc. There are also tools available for use, such as the Google Adwords keyword tool which can allow users to research commonly used keywords.
It’s a good idea to evaluate every source of information to verify how reliable they are. Start with the website URL, which can tell you if the website is a personal page or an organization. For the best results, look for .gov, .mil, .edu, and .org URL’s. It’s also a good idea to use Alexa or Google PageRanks to determine how well the website ranks as a reliable source.
Forums are a surprisingly good source of information and can give you a general idea of the public’s opinion on certain issues. Just make sure to fact check everything found on forums. Also, if you’re looking for a topic to write about, forums are a great place to find common questions and concerns people want to learn about.
Go to the Library
Remember the library? Many people these days have forgotten it, but it’s still a reliable place to find information. It’s a free place for information from mostly credible sources, and a quiet place to work. There are also plenty of online sources at the library, along with database and journal searches.
Google and Amazon allow access to a wide variety of online books, many of them for free or as low as .99 cents. With Google, it’s even possible to set up an online library, and with Amazon it’s possible to read excerpts from every book.
With time, proper research techniques can become second nature. Any research techniques not listed here? Feel free to tell us in the comments. (Top Image: Flickr | Arturodonate)
The Speaking of Wealth Team