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 Despite the more reliable nature of libraries, they are becoming outdated as more books are being published in electronic format.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?