Good quality research is the key to many aspects of work, academia, and life in general. Whether you’re researching scholarly texts for a dissertation, industry facts and figures for a work presentation, or simply hunting for a bargain online, the ability to seek and effectively use relevant information is a fantastic life skill.
There are some simple techniques you can follow to make sure that your research is relevant, high quality, and doesn’t take an age to find the information you need. Whatever research task is facing you, these tips should help to make the process smoother, easier, and more productive.
Keep An Open Mind
Open-mindedness is crucial to good research quality. If you go into your research task having already decided what you want the result to be, this can prevent you from considering other options and using them to help you come to a more accurate conclusion.
You also face the problem of what’s known as confirmation bias, which is the idea that people pay more attention to information that agrees with their own original ideas. If, for example, you’re searching for alcohol rehab centers in Florida but already have a choice in mind, you’ll be less likely to pay attention to the other options that are available to you. If you’re able to begin your research task with an open mind, you’ll be more likely to come to an accurate conclusion.
Learn To Make The Most of Search Engines
Search engines are a valuable tool for doing research, but it’s possible to get a bit lost in the huge amounts of information that a general search can return. One way to cut down the irrelevant results which may crop up from a general search term is to put quotation marks around the phrase you’re searching for. This makes the search engine look for sites which contain that specific term, rather than a combination of some or all of the individual words.
Another tool offered by search engines, particularly Google, is the ability to search only on one particular type of site. Google has search options for books, academic texts, news, shopping, images and a whole host of other categories. These can be particularly useful if you know what type of information you’re looking for.
Take A Systematic Approach to Your Research
One of the main problems facing researchers, particularly in the Internet age, is the sheer volume of information available. It’s tricky to keep track of everything you’ve researched if you don’t create an organized system for storing the information once you find it. Doing the best research in the world is no use if you cannot effectively catalogue, access, and use the information afterwards. Try a spreadsheet or database to keep all your information in order.
Once you know how to research effectively, you can make your work easier and find higher quality information. Taking the time to improve your research ability will always pay off.