Research – A Necessary Evil

May 30th, 2012

Oftentimes the word “research” will send people scattering into every imaginable direction. Research can be boring. However, in today’s technology, it’s extremely important to report accurate information. It’s too easy for someone to read an article, search the Internet, discover inaccuracies reported by an author and instantly diminish the writer’s credibility.

 

Research is necessary whether writing non-fiction or fiction unless the plot is in a fantasy world that does not exist. With so much information on the Internet, a common dilemma is how to be certain that the researched information is credible. Listed below are steps to follow to ensure that researched data is accurate.

 

  • Use credible, substantive information.  In English, this means to use real or actual information. Everything found on the Internet is not factual. Thorough Internet research requires a firm foundation. The best place to secure factual information would be on a library or university website. All library sites are not created equal. An example is that a small neighborhood library will not carry as many resources as an inner-city library. Wherein, it may not always be practical to visit a large inner-city library to research, it is possible to visit an inner-city library website to gather research information.

 

  • Develop a plan.  As with any other strategy, a plan or road-map should be developed to make sure you stay on track. I learned this the hard way. Have you ever traveled to an unfamiliar area without a map and with no plan to reach your destination? I have. I was so turned around that I had no idea where I was and no idea how to reach my destination. The same holds true with research. Begin developing a road-map by asking yourself the following questions:
  1.  What is the desired result?
  2.  What questions do you want answered?
  3. What approach will be used to reach the desired result?
  4. Line up resources (ie. Library sites, university sites)
  5. What topics or keywords will be used for your search?

Next week, we will discuss two more suggestions for research. Research is offered as a service by Castle Virtual Solutions. Feel free to contact me to help you to reach your goals.

Written by Lorraine Castle ©2012

Contact Lorraine for your free 20-minute consultation. You can discuss how I can help you to write your book, publish your book, and sell your book.