Posted in On Writing, Research

Research

I am a huge fan of doing research for anything that I am not 100% certain of. I know that if I write something that is incorrect I will have someone read it who knows I was bluffing. I don’t want to have poorly researched stories because it bothers me when I read stories with blatantly wrong information.

There are a few ways that I do my research. Each way has its pros and cons but they all work together to help me get the best information possible.

The first method that I use for research is to search online. While it is one of the quicker ways to get information the downside is that not all the information is correct. There are a few ways to find out if the website is reputable. If the website is run by a non-profit or contains peer-reviewed articles, the chances are that the information can be trusted. If the research is specifically designed to sell a product then it may be conveniently missing a few details.

The second research method I use is to take a hands on approach. This method requires me to do what it is I’m writing about. This could require taking a class or it could involve building something. Some of the fun hands on research involves weekend trips and trying new activities. The downside of this method is that it leaves out things that require a lot of training such as a master’s degree.

The last way I research is by using the library. It’s slower than using the internet but they tend to have more reliable information. Despite the more reliable nature of libraries, they are becoming outdated as more books are being published in electronic format. Regardless of how out of fashion libraries have become they are still my favourite research tool.

How do you research? Do you have a favourite method or use the most convenient one? Are there any research tips you would share?

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Author:

The AP Roberts is an extremely rare creature and there is only one known AP Roberts in the world. Usually off in its own little world, the AP returns to reality when it gets lonely. This elusive creature is rather difficult to catch on film, however will pose for drawings. The AP, though wild by nature, can be tamed and makes a wonderful pet. It should also be known that while the AP gets along with most creatures it has an intense fear of insects and large canines. The AP lives on a diet of mainly vegetables and candy but is not known to refuse food that is made and offered through kindness. The drink of choice for the AP is tea though it is known to drink water and juice. There is still much to be learned of the AP however, most agree that the writings of the AP are truly something to behold. Hopefully, one day the AP will find a good Agent creature who will introduce the AP's writings to a good publisher creature and the world will be able to read the AP's works.

2 thoughts on “Research

  1. I’ll never forget the time I quick-researched an article and inadvertently repeated a myth… It was about tomatoes. The widely known fact is that, when tomatoes were first introduced to Europe, they were believed to be poisonous. They are relatives of nightshade, and so assumed to be as deadly as the berries.

    According to lore, a gentleman in Pennsylvania caused a sensation by eating a tomato on the court house steps, thus proving them not poisonous. This lore was repeated everywhere — in books, on line, in magazines. But, it was not true.

    It turns out there is no documentary evidence to support the tomato-eating-sensation-story. Where did I find this? Ironically, on the Internet, where there is a site devoted to busting food myths.

    Like you, I do basic research on line, but then follow up with library research. It does take longer, but it’s better than being embarrassed again.

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    1. That story is quite funny but illustrates the point of research magnificently. My usual research blunders involve conflicting research and using the one that ends up being wrong.

      Like

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