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How to research a topic online

Online research is a crucial skill, whether you're working on a science paper, writing a blog post or just learning something new about your indoor plants. However, it is not always easy to tackle a complicated or niche topic.

Organizing Your Information Early

Organizing your information can save you time, and you can save what you have previously forgotten or forgotten from your research. You should link to any website you visit from the beginning to the end of your search. For each link, write down some information to help you remember why you saved it and what information you can use about it. You should also save any PDFs or images that relate to your research because you can use them as valuable primary sources.

If you need to organize a lot of data across multiple devices, you should use a note-taking app such as Evernote, OneNote. or Google Keep. They're great for keeping track of web pages, PDFs, photos and anything else you need for your big project.

If you're just trying to turn off a short essay or learn about DIY woodworking, then you probably do not need to get a dedicated notes app, unless you're already using one. It may be easier to copy web pages to a Word or Google Doc file and save PDF files or images to your local or cloud storage drive. Just make sure you organize your files and take notes for all your sources.

In the end, you will probably only use a handful of the links you save. However, if you post a blog post or write an essay, you must be able to review and quote all of your sources. Otherwise, you could later do a lot of extra work for yourself.

Start by gathering information and information

When you do research, it's tempting to dive straight into the first exciting thing you'll find. However, you should try to be as broad as possible. Otherwise, you might miss some fascinating information and have a poor understanding of your topic.

Therefore, you should try to find much information about your topic more than you think. For a comprehensive introduction, it's a good idea to search Google for general terms that relate to your topic. If you are exploring the difference between sunflowers and tulips, you should get some information on each flower before each well.

Of course, Wikipedia is also a fantastic place to start your research. You can use Wikipedia to find a lot of general information about your topic, and you can use it to find related topics or primary sources that could be useful as you go deeper into your research.

Decide What's Important and Restrict Things

Once you've collected a broad data package, you'll need to review everything and decide what you want to focus on. Do not just go for the first thing that sounds interesting to you. Try to find new relationships between the different pieces of information that you have collected.

Let's say you're looking for an author like Mark Twain. You have found in your broad research that he was in civil war and that some of his stories are taking place in the Antebellum in the South. These two pieces of information are boring and difficult to maintain. But when you put them together, it's obvious that there's a tantalizing relationship worthy of a thorough investigation.

It's okay to research a relationship that is obvious or known, especially if you are writing a blog. personal research or rudimentary history paper. However, if you are looking for something unique, you need to think about how to limit your research.

Optimize your Google Search

You can now continue your research. What now? If you're looking for something special, you may have difficulty finding some good search results on Google.

Because of this, you'll need to use some Google search operators to get the most from your Google searches. There are many search operators that you can use, and they are all pretty straightforward. However, there are some that are particularly useful for online research.

If you need to search for exact phrases or names on Google, you can put them in quotation marks. For example, if you search Google for the term "mole people", only pages that contain the word "mole" followed by the word "people" are displayed.


The idea of ​​starting broad and then narrowing down your search also applies to internet searches.

For example, if your search for "mole people" contained too many New York results, you could sign a minus sign to eliminate those results. This is what it would look like:

  "Mole people" - "New York" 

Please note that we also used quotation marks for "New York" in this search because the entire expression should be excluded.

If you've found a point in your research where you can not find any new sites to visit, try activating your Google search. Try varying the same search terms and changing which search operators you use. Sometimes the smallest change in your search results in very different results.

Next to Google

Sometimes Google's expertise is not enough. If you are working on a full paper or writing a profound blog entry, you may need to review some journals, papers, or old books. You know, "primary sources".

Some sites, such as Project Muse and JSTOR, are an excellent source for journals, scholarly works, and other primary sources. You can usually access them through your university or public library. There are also some free alternatives to these websites, such as Google Scholar and SSRN.

However, if you are heavily involved in dairy product advertising, you need to find old catalogs, magazines, magazines, and magazines posters. Google Books is an excellent resource for this type of material.

You can also use Wikipedia to find some major sources. At the end of each Wikipedia article you will find a table with "references". In this table you will find the sources for all information in the article. If you come across juicy information while reading a Wikipedia article, there is usually a small number associated with the reference table.

It is good to look at all these resources as they usually come with different results for the same search. They also have built-in advanced search capabilities that are useful for topics that are unique or in a niche.

Review Your Research

After you have completed your research, you must make sure that all information is available Your information is accurate. You can save a lot of heartache by reviewing all your research before you write anything.

Go and reread all of your sources because of the possibility that you misinterpret what they say. Of course, you are not the only person who can misread a source, so it's good to check all the quotes found on a website.

You should also consider how you have used Google to search for your source code topic. If you include prejudices in your search terms, there is a chance that the information you collect will reflect these prejudices. Try searching for Google using a variety of search terms and Google search operators.

There are also websites where you can search for facts to make sure your information is accurate. Websites like Factcheck.org or Snopes are pretty fantastic. Do not use it as the only resource limited to facts.

What if you find conflicting information?

Sometimes you spend a lot of time reviewing all your research, and you realize that things do not seem to line up. In this situation, it is tempting to stand behind some information that may not be quite factual. After all, it is much easier to deal with inaccurate information than to redo your entire research process.

However, you should never write or post information unless you are sure that it is accurate. If you find contradictory information when researching a topic, return to the drawing board or try to make the conflicting information in your favor.

For example, if you find contradictory eyewitness accounts when looking for the Titanic, then you can quickly turn these conflicting reports into exciting information. You could even go back and do a thorough research on who made these eyewitness accounts and how they shaped public opinion about the sinking of the Titanic. Hey, that could be a book.

Photo credit: 13_Phunkod / Shutterstock, fizkes / Shutterstock

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