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As much as you may not like it, researching is a constitutive part of any project. Whether in education, healthcare, or business, researching the topic or area you want to enter is a must. This article sheds light on the notion of research and provides tips to make your research insightful.
What is research, and when and why do research in the first place?
Research is a systematic inquiry process that employs logical and critical thinking to generate new knowledge. The primary purpose of research is to find out information to support an argument and underpin the author’s competence. Researching before writing an essay or article or creating a project or business plan is essential, as it ensures that the information is accurate and up-to-date. Well-detailed research also confirms that you have considered all the most crucial elements. It is vital in business to show investors that you are knowledgeable in all potential scenarios and risks, thus being prepared to quickly address any popped-up issue.
Quick and practical tips and tricks to stand out in researching
Arduous as it may seem, researching the subject is manageable, especially when approaching the task mindfully. The following tips will facilitate your research:
Know what you are looking for
- Identify what you are looking for first. This will help focus your search and make it more efficient.
- Once you know your point, begin narrowing your search using specific keywords and phrases.
- After you target a few results, start eliminating things irrelevant or distantly related to your needs.
- Finally, compare the remaining results to the information you have been looking for. If you have several relevant results but need only one, repeat step 3 until you have one remaining thing.
Choose your search engine carefully
The effectiveness of search engines varies by sought inquiries. So, other than being precise, you need to pick the right search engine relevant to your topic that can generate the best outputs. Here are simple steps to choosing the right search engine:
- Identify your needs and goals for using a research engine. What types of information are you looking for? Is this information text or video-based?
- Consider the different features offered by different research engines. What features are most important to you?
- Ask for recommendations from friends, colleagues, or other experts. While their pieces of advice can be instrumental, don’t take them for granted. You still need to put effort into the searching process.
Evaluate your sources
Say your source is a YouTube channel. In that case, you need to pay attention to a few components. The best way to check whether the author can be trusted is to analyze their youtube channel. If they utilize a youtube video thumbnail template, the chances are they take their occupation and followers seriously. Besides, check if they refer to any previous studies in the field and include them in the video so people can fact-check statements voiced during the video.
You can also take advantage of these general criteria to evaluate the quality of sources:
- Is the source reliable? Look at the author’s credentials, the source of information, and whether or not the information has been peer-reviewed.
- Is the source relevant? It means that the information provided in the source should be pertinent to the researcher’s topic of interest.
- Is the source up-to-date? It is significant for sources that discuss rapidly changing topics, such as scientific research.
- Is the source well-written and easy to understand? This is a personal preference, but well-organized and written sources are more helpful.
Develop creative search strategies
The best search strategy for researching will vary depending on the topic and available resources. However, some tips for developing creative search strategies when researching may include:
- Try using different search engines, databases, and other resources to find information on your topic.
- Get creative with your search terms – use synonyms, related terms, and misspellings. They may lead to lesser-known insights.
- Think outside the box – try looking for information in unexpected places. Forums may not be the most frequented places to research, but they might contain valuable links and references.
- Keep track of resources and how you found them, so you can remember what worked and didn’t.
The best way to be patient when researching is to set a goal for how much information you want to find and then break that goal down into smaller objectives. For example, if you’re going to research a topic for an essay, you might set a goal of finding five sources of information. Once you have seen those five sources, you can start reading and taking notes. If you are getting frustrated while researching, take a break and return to it later.
Search beyond the obvious
There are many reasons why experts recommend doing that. One reason is that the apparent sources may not have the information you want. You may also find more reliable information from less prominent sources, helping you develop a more well-rounded understanding of your topic.
The Bottom Line
Research is vital to any project; these tips will help you be more objective and revealing. Ensure to follow them every time you conduct research, and you’ll make the entire process more seamless.