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Tips to Help you in Carrying out your Research

In researching for your story, there is more than one pathway leading to the same point, and some routes are quicker than others. If you don’t have the right research technique, you might quickly reach a dead end or find the research process more and more frustrating. So, as you are creative in your writing, you also need to be creative in gathering information for your writing. Here are some helpful tricks to help make your research process less burdensome.

1. Start from the General to the Specific

 Let’s say you want to write a story about someone with lung cancer, and you’re not a doctor, so, definitely, you need to research lung cancer. So, you go to your search engine and begin by searching for lung cancer. You might click on the Wikipedia page, which would offer you the general information about the ailment, and from what you find, you can call your friend, who is a medical doctor, to fill out the specifics. In researching for a story, you should begin with the general information (the Wikipedia page) and let the information you gather lead you to specifics.

2. Have a Good Rapport with your Local Librarian

A good help in every research endeavor is the librarian. They can be very resourceful in guiding you to the right material you need for your research. They practically live to help you find the information you need. So, you need to build a good rapport with the resource librarian at your local library. But you should have done enough research by yourself and have gathered enough general information first before requiring their help. Let the librarian be your guide to find specific information, not your first point of call. Make their work a lot easier, and let them be your guide out of a dead end only.

3. Make a Quick Overview of Research Materials First

If you are considering a book for your research, make sure to take a quick overview of it before purchasing or reading it. Go through the table of content, you can check out the reviews on Amazon or use the “Look Inside” option. You can also check out reviews on Goodreads. For large books or documents, check out the index for the list of charts, illustrations, or graphs. These lists summarize complex subjects, especially in scientific and government documents. Also, check for executive summaries and conclusion statements in each section of the document.

4. Keep a Good Record

Make a list of the relevant information you find and the materials where you found them. So you can refer to them when the time comes or crosscheck the information again to be double sure. Proper recording of relevant facts will help you easily locate the information you need when you need them.

5. Check out Suggested Materials

When searching for a book on Google Search or Amazon, also check out related books that are suggested. You might find relevant information in suggested books because they are all in the same category and the search engine is suggesting them because people who have been researching your related topics have also found those materials helpful.

6. Check out Bibliographies and References

You can consult bibliographies and references for useful books, documents, articles, and online content that can be helpful for your research. Look at the end of a Wikipedia page article, or the end of a book, and you will find lists that can lead to a huge body of vital information for your story.

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Frank Stephen