How to improve your research skills

Whether you’re writing a blog post or a short story, you’ll likely reach a point in your first draft where you don’t have enough information to go on — and that’s where the research begins.

Why Are Research Skills Important?

Research skills are an important part of the writing process because they allow writers to find information and outline their writing project — whether it’s creative or academic writing. By developing organized and effective research methods, you will be able to become knowledgeable in any field in which you need to write.

6 Tips to Improve Your Research Skills

Here are some research practices and tips to help you hone your research and writing skills:

Start broad, then drill down to specifics. Research is a big undertaking, so it can be overwhelming not knowing where to start — there’s nothing wrong with a basic internet search to get you started. Online resources like Google and Wikipedia, while not always accurate, are a great way to orient yourself on a topic, as they often provide a basic overview with a calendar. brief history and any key points.

Learn how to recognize quality sources. Not every source is reliable, so it’s important that you can discern good from bad. To identify a trustworthy source, you’ll need to use your analytical and critical thinking skills and ask yourself the following questions: Does this source agree with other sources I’ve looked at see it? Is the author an expert in the field? Is the author’s point of view a conflict of interest on the subject?

Verify information from several sources. The internet is a big place, and for the most part, anyone can say whatever they want online — many websites don’t rate their content for factual accuracy. This means that there are a lot of unreliable resources and even a lot of completely incorrect resources. The best way to combat this is to make sure that whatever you find in your research, several different sources can verify that it’s true. Instead of leaving one site, make sure at least two other places say something similar.

Expect surprising answers. Good research is about finding answers to your research questions — not necessarily a way to verify what you thought you knew. Just looking for confirmation is a very limited research strategy, as it involves picking and choosing the information to collect and prevents you from developing the most accurate understanding of the topic. As you conduct your research, make sure to keep an open mind so you can dig as deeply as possible.

Stay organized. During the crawl you will see a huge amount of information, from web pages, PDFs to videos. It’s important that you organize all of this information in some way to prevent yourself from losing something or not being able to quote something correctly. There are many ways to keep your research project organized, but here are a few common ways: Bookmarks in your Internet browser, bookmarks and annotated folders that you keep up to date as you work on them. presently.

Leverage library resources. If you still have questions about your research, don’t worry — there are plenty of places to help, even if you’re not a student doing academic or course-related research. In fact, many high school and university libraries provide resources not only for faculty and student research, but also for the larger community. Be sure to check out library websites for research instructions or to access specific databases.

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