We all know the drill. You need to do some research for school/work/whatever, so you open up your web browser and type in a few keywords related to your topic. Then you sit back and wait for the magic to happen. Except, of course, it doesn’t always work out that way.
Whether you’re researching World War II statistics for an essay or looking for a roller shutter price guide, oftentimes what you get is a never-ending stream of irrelevant results and websites that haven’t been updated since the early 2000s.
If this sounds familiar, then read on for some tips that will make your next online research session a whole lot easier – and more productive.
Start with a specific goal in mind
When you sit down to do research, it can be easy to get side-tracked by all the information that’s out there. To avoid this, start with a specific goal in mind. What exactly do you need to find out? Once you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, you can focus your search and save yourself a lot of time in the process.
Use multiple search engines
If you’re only using one search engine, then you’re not getting the full picture. There are other great options out there like DuckDuckGo and Bing that can help you find different results. So, when you’re starting your research, try using a few different search engines to get a well-rounded view of what’s available on the web.
Utilise search operators
If you’re not using search operators, then you’re not making full use of your search engine’s capabilities! For those who don’t know, search operators are special characters or words that can be added to your search query to help narrow down your results. For example, adding the word “OR” between two terms will tell the search engine to look for pages that contain either term (or both). There are lots of different search operators available, so it’s worth doing some digging to find the ones that will work best for your needs.
Check your sources
Just because something appears on the first page of your search results, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily reliable or accurate. Before relying on any information you find online, make sure you check the source to ensure it’s coming from a reputable website or author. A good rule of thumb is to stick with .edu or .gov websites, as these are typically more reliable than others. Also, be sure to check when the information was published or last updated – you don’t want to base your research on outdated data!
And finally, researching can be taxing on both your body and your brain, so it’s important to take breaks every now and then. Get up and stretch your legs, grab a quick snack, or take a few deep breaths – whatever helps you relax and recharge for the next round of research. By taking care of yourself while you work, you’ll be able to power through and get the job done more efficiently in the long run.
Ready to get started?
Doing research doesn’t have to be tedious. By following these five simple tips, you can make online research easier on yourself and actually enjoy it in the process! So next time you need to do some digging, remember these helpful hints and watch your productivity soar. Good luck!