How To Research

Apologies for not updating – my grandpa died recently, and I haven’t been coping very well. Also, apologies for the title. I couldn’t think of anything funny. It’s rather annoying.

Anyway. Last week, well actually I don’t know when, I made a point on why you should research. Now, I think I should tell you how.

#1 – make sure you have the materials to do so. 

As I mentioned this last week, I shall not go into so much detail about it here. Just remember to have something to write with and something to write on.

#2 – get into the right frame of mind.

If you’re not in the right frame of mind to research, you won’t be able to retain much of the stuff you learn – and, although you have it there, it’s a lot easier to have most of it in your mind. Also, if you’re not in the right frame of mind, you might not find the right stuff, the stuff you’re looking for, or you might miss the most important stuff.

#3 – when you are actually researching, make sure that you…

First offs, read the whole thing – for example, the webpage, or page of a book – first. This way, if it’s complete and utter codswallop, you haven’t recorded it unnecessarily. Make sure you record it clearly and concisely. Make sure you understand what you are writing, so when you come back to it later, you don’t have to try and decode it. And when you do record it, make sure you record everything. And yes, I mean everything. Even if you don’t think it’s relevant, it may be lter.

#4 – if you’re using just the internet, make sure you use a variety of websites.

And make sure you record everywhere you get them from, especially if it’s a big project (like, make a bibliography). This means that if you write something, and, perhaps, post it online and someone disagrees, you can refer them to the source (or if you need to, blame the source for the mistake!). Also, some websites, such as Wikipedia, anyone can edit, so there can be a lot of made up stuff on there. Make sure you always check it up against other sources! And remember: only use the information if they all agree on it, especially for things like History. Finally, if possible, get visible proof, such as a YouTube video.

#5 – if possible, use a library.

Yes, this mystical places still exist! Wow! And, yes, although they have definitely – unfortunately – declined in standard, they are still marvellous places to go for research, especially for history (just beware that new things may have been discovered in between the time they were written and the time you were reading it). Take a notebook and pen and sit down, have a good read and a browse. Some books are absolute gems, and they’ll help you more than the internet.

#6 – if even more possible, talk to someone.

When I say this, I mean someone that was there, or is an expert on the subject, like a Geography teacher or History professor. Or, as aforementioned, get someone who experienced it! For example, I spoke to my Granddad about WWII, as he was in London during the Blitz. And, believe me, I found it much more useful than looking at some old webpage about someone I don’t really know, because I could see the emotion on his face! Remember, if you are talking to someone, ask them if it’s ok to take notes (because otherwise it may look a tad rude) or use a dictaphone or a voice reminder thingy on your phone so you can listen to it back and perhaps make a transcript.

I’m not sure what else to write about research, apart from the fact that it is vital, but if you do require any more help, then please, feel free to comment below. 🙂

Also, would anyone mind if I posted some of my own writing in the future, or should I create a new blog? Thanks, guys!

And yes, I will try and do some more posts. 🙂

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