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Research is much more than typing a few words in Google.  If you want any research project to success then you have to do some pre-research planning. With this in Mind I have come up with a few handy tips which get you better results for your next research project.

THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT TO RESEARCH:

  •  Think about what it is you are hoping to achieve by doing this research. What is your “why” behind your research project?
  •  Phrase this into a question. –> there you go you know have one key word phase to try out. 🙂

THINK ABOUT THE SOURCES YOU ARE LOOKING FOR

What type are answers are you expecting – News article, logs, opinion places a scholarly article, competitors website a place to eat pizza, etc. Depending upon your answer this will help you determine which Search Engines to use

THINK ABOUT WHAT SEARCH ENGINES ARE BEST FOR YOUR SEARCH

  •  Google, Bing, Duck Duck Go, etc
  •  Specialised Databases,
  •  Directories Such as yellow pages, true local etc,
  •  Google scholar google books, Google maps,
  •  www.data.gov.au or www.data.qld.gov.au, and/or
  •  Library resources – federal, state, local, universities (most can be accessed online)

THINK ABOUT KEYWORDS

  • Do your keywords have synonyms and antonyms?
  • Are there different spellings for your keywords?
  • Do you need to use wildcards such as *?
  • Do you need to use Boolean modifiers such as AND, OR, NOT?

TIP: Words inside quotations are used for searching a phrase.

THINK ABOUT HOW MANY RESOURCES YOU NEED

Always try for 10 to start off with your research project. More is better but 10 is a nice number to aim for 1st.

THINK ABOUT HOW YOU WILL ASSESS YOUR SEARCH RESULTS

Ask the following Questions:
1) What is the age of the information?
2) Who is the author and are they an expert in their field?
3) Does the author have an agenda?
4) What type of information source is this (Blog, scholarly article etc)?
5) Who is the publisher, and do they have an agenda?
6) Does the article have links or references?
7) Is the information in this resource being replicated by other sources?
8) Is the only reason I like and trust this article is because it backs up my own personal feelings towards the topic?

Online Research Matters

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