Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Is research your excuse for not starting … or finishing your book? by Rita Karnopp

     There is so much information on the Internet – it’s like having a library at your fingertips. You just have to learn the tricks to finding the information you’re looking for.
     Find a search engine to do the work for you such as Google, Yahoo, AOL, Yahoo and Magellan.  Different search engines may look for different things. Some look for key words in the titles of documents, some search all links for key words, and some will search the entire text of documents. Check several out and decide which one you like best. The search engine I use most often is Google.
     When searching keep in mind:
1.   Be specific don’t use words too general or too common.
2.   Use singulars – never plural forms
3.   Write down in a notebook where you’ve been – saves so much time!
4.   Unsure of a key word –start with a wide search and find key words to find what you need
5.   Keep it simple – and don’t get bogged down
a.   Pace yourself
b.   Don’t read everything – skim through until you find what you’re looking for
c.    Don’t print every page – ‘copy and paste’ into a ‘note’ file and save it on your hard drive or a flash drive for future use
d.   Copy the URL if it’s interesting  - or save the site to your ‘favorites’ for future research
e.   Take notes if there are bits and pieces of information you wish to keep
f.     Don’t bog down – keep moving – if you find a site that is so interesting you can’t seem to stop reading; save it to your ‘favorites’ for later
g.   Keep moving – It’s so important to stick to the information you’re looking for.
     I love researching for my books – I learn so much . . . but sometimes I find myself absorbed in the information. You have to know how to say enough research is enough.  Get that book started. Remember, you can always go online and find that one or two things you specifically need at the time! 
     Don’t let research be your excuse for not starting … or finishing your book!

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