By Madi Rodgers, Marketing Assistant
Researching your book is a very important part of the writing process. Your research is the foundation of your writing and is used to persuade readers to become more interested in your book’s subject. While researching, you may run into some snags. Citations, reliable references, acknowledgements, facts, dates, names, and so many other things will weigh you down as you begin to take the first steps in writing. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be hard!
Write a List of Questions
After you have brainstormed your ideas, start by writing all those thoughts down. From there, connect the dots, develop some sort of chronological order, and figure out a list of questions your research should answer. The less random Google searches needed, the better.
These questions can be as broad as “How does money work?” or as specific as “Who ran for president in 1812 (It’s James Madison if you were wondering)?”. The questions you list should fit the format that will best help you achieve your goals and aid your writing process.
Use Reliable Sources
This is something every writer should know how to do. Reliable sources make your writing, arguments, and opinions much stronger and reputable. Google Scholar is a good place to look for official information that comes from a direct source. If someone did research on a subject that you would like to use, try Google Scholar. You can find everything from court cases to scientific dissertations, to primary historical sources that are easy to cite and 100% credible.
Exploring news sources often opens the door to another shaky area of credibility. National Public Radio (NPR), British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), and Cable News Network (CNN), are all usually good sources where you can find information about current events in printed, digital, and televised (radio for NPR) form. But of course, make sure you are pulling your information from a variety of sources to prevent bias. However, when it comes to using news media sources always make sure they link back to credible sites for their data and are fact-based, not opinion-based, articles.
Additionally, educational sites, think .edu URL’s, often have reputable data and extensive resources.
Access a Public Library
Another great way to research your novel is by looking at other people’s novels! Learn from the experts, while developing your own amazing story. As unlimited as the internet may seem, there are limitations when it comes to researching a book. An obscure topic, a very specific source, or a piece of literature will sometimes only be available in a physical copy. Speak with your local library if you must find something specific. This will also be an easy way to give your writing flavor and diversity.
Doing Research While Writing
When writing your draft, try to mark any places where something needs to be Googled or looked at more in-depth. You can always research a name, place, proper spelling, date, or even main topic after starting your first draft.
Give Credit Where It’s Due
After conducting all this amazing research, there will come a time where you must cite your sources. If you get any information from a source, cite it. Ask a person for help? Put them in the acknowledgements. When in doubt, always give credit!