Online Research: The Basics

By claire |

 

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Whether you’re researching to pitch a client or write your latest blog, the internet is a powerful and credible tool—if you know how to use it. If you’re on a tight deadline or have a project with a huge scope, it can be difficult to even know where and how to begin the research process.  But by following these four simple tips, you can find the most useful information in the least amount of time. 

Be specific. 

Sounds simple, right? Using specific and targeted search terms can save you a lot of time, aggravation, and unnecessary reading. Make sure your words are concise and get right to the point.

For example, if you’re looking for an article on the positive affects of green marketing, instead of searching for “green marketing,” try searching for “green marketing benefits.” This will narrow your search and streamline your results. 

A keyword can be described as the terms of your search, or what you type in search bar when you visit a search engine. Make sure that the terms you use are concise, specific and spelled properly.

Evaluate your sources.

Make sure the information you use is of the highest caliber.  Double check any site you retrieve information from, giving highest priority to trusted websites.  Search news outlets, like CNN or the New York Times, before looking to less credible sources.  Do a background check on the author(s) of the piece and where they’re getting their information from–use only the best.

Make the most of Search Engines 

Search Engines, like Google and Yahoo!, offer a plethora of information. Use some of the above tips, as well as these tips offered by Google to track down the most accurate and relevant information quickly. 

Organize Your Research 

Using a clear organization system that you understand will make the research process more efficient and effective. Chances are, you’re not going to use every single source you read. Compile the most relevant information into a research brief or outline. This will help you organize your research and clear out the clutter.

Here are a few more resources that will get you on the right track with your online research. 

 

 

 

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