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Tips for Fast and Efficient Article Research

Updated on July 4, 2014
With the right strategies, anyone can master fast, accurate online research. These methods work well whether you're writing an internet article, a school paper, or an in-depth research paper.
With the right strategies, anyone can master fast, accurate online research. These methods work well whether you're writing an internet article, a school paper, or an in-depth research paper. | Source

Article research is arguably the most time-consuming part of any piece. As a result, it's the part that determines whether you get a good return on your time or not. Spend too much time on research, and any benefit you get -- monetary or otherwise -- quickly dwindles to nothing. Here are some tips for researching and organizing your articles fast, allowing you to get good, in-depth and factual content within a profitable time frame.

Organize and get started

The process for writing a research based paper is the same regardless of your familiarity with the subject matter. Most of the time, you will at least have a general idea of what direction you want to go with your article. After that, it’s simply a matter of filling in any gaps in the information.

Do you write for a living, or want to?

Writing Matters: A Handbook for Writing and Research
Writing Matters: A Handbook for Writing and Research

Good professional writing requires so much more than just decent research. This book goes over every aspect of the world of writing from an academic perspective, which also carries over into the world of professional internet writers. It discusses the responsibilities and requirements shared by high-quality, valuable writers.

 

So let's start with the basic idea of your article. What do you want to say about your subject? Make a list of the information that will be in the article, then make each piece of information the heading for an outline. For instance, if you're planning to write on a specific dog breed, you may have an outline with headings such as "Breed standards," "Origins," "Historical Uses," "Temperament," and so on.

If you're writing your outline by hand, make sure to leave at least five lines between each heading. Write in pencil so that you can revise as needed. Remember: Good notes are key to efficient research, so make sure to take them at every step. This is the only way to ensure that you won't have to go over the same thing more than once.

Still not really sure how to write an outline? Here's an in-depth walk-through. Remember, an article is just a miniature research paper.

Determine your research points, and act on them

Now it's time to do the research. There are a couple of elements you want in your research -- namely, you want it to be thorough and accurate. However, you also don't want to spend multiple hours doing research for a single article of 500-1,000 words. This is where your outline is useful.

Explore different methods of outlining

There are dozens of ways you can map your outline. Play around with a few different ones, and find the one that works best with the way you think.
There are dozens of ways you can map your outline. Play around with a few different ones, and find the one that works best with the way you think. | Source

As you read each source article, jot down pieces of information under the appropriate heading. Feel free to add additional headings as needed if you discover other facets of the subject that you didn't know were there, but would like to present in your article.

Working with an outline ensures that you can quickly and easily find all of the information in a way that you can easily understand when it's time to actually write. This way your research will stay focused, ensure a more streamlined and on-track article, and make factual and informative paragraphs much easier to form later.

Don't be afraid to change up your approach from time to time. Try different types of outline mapping, different approaches to organization and, of course, different search strategies. Internet research can be tricky because there's just so much information out there. Some gems get buried, while other topics are beaten to death and it's almost impossible to rank for them.

Did you know?

Articles on the internet are not automatically public domain. Using part or all of them without permission, or without linking back to the original when you quote it, is stealing. On the same token, using photos that aren't clearly marked as public domain, and without proper attribution, is also plagiarism. Every year, millions of plagiarized works are removed from the internet through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Copyright infringement is an offense punishable by law.

Guard against accidental plagiarism

You want to make sure that all of the information you glean from various sources is presented in a way that is unique to your article. To ensure complete originality, keep your outline notes in short, simple phrases that merely state the information devoid of any kind of artistic styling. Never “copy and paste” bits of information unless you're planning to do a quote in your article, as you may later inadvertently use identical or very similar wording.

Some important information on plagiarism for AdSense users

Shortcut future research

Pay attention to the sites you visit for future reference. If you plan to do more articles on the subject or if you run into some good general knowledge sites, bookmark those sites. Type in a short description for your bookmark that explains the subjects for which the site is useful. Research will always go faster if you know where you're going and don't have to wade through dozens of search results to segregate the valuable from the junk.

Take your research a step further...

Mastering Online Research: A Comprehensive Guide to Effective and Efficient Search Strategies
Mastering Online Research: A Comprehensive Guide to Effective and Efficient Search Strategies

Online research is about everything from gathering information to write the next article, to finding good niches for further work. Here are some really in-depth strategies to really super-charge your research. It's an excellent resource for professional content curators of every stripe.

 

Don't forget about the trends

Learning how to identify online trends will help you immensely in your future writing efforts. This lets you see the interest in certain topics in both short-term and long-term contexts so you can pick what matches with your article writing goals.
Learning how to identify online trends will help you immensely in your future writing efforts. This lets you see the interest in certain topics in both short-term and long-term contexts so you can pick what matches with your article writing goals. | Source

Finally, research is generally easier and more thorough if you're writing about a subject you already know about, but it's not a requirement. Be sure to allow time for a little extra "wandering" in your research if the subject is new, because you have to build your knowledge base before knowing exactly what to research. The more work you do on a given subject, the easier and faster writing will be if you are careful to organize information in the most efficient manner.

Thank you for reading my hub; I hope it has been helpful to you. What about you? Please take a moment to leave a comment about anything else you've found useful while you research. Alternatively, do you have a huge block that causes problems whenever you research, or at any other part of the article writing process? Feel free to share, and I will do my best to help find ways around it.

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    • urs_dipak profile image

      urs_dipak 7 years ago from Kolkata, West Bengal, India

      Very nice and informative Hub.

      And thanks for a great answer to my question, you comments are always inspiring and rocking.

      Thanks

    • AdziJ profile image

      AdziJ 7 years ago from UK

      Hey wychic,

      What an informative article.....

      AdzieJ

    • RVDaniels profile image

      RVDaniels 6 years ago from Athens, GA

      Thanks for a useful hub. I really enjoyed it.

    • BennyTheWriter profile image

      BennyTheWriter 6 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      wychic, you wrote this awesome hub in response to my question. Thanks so much--these are truly simple yet invaluable tips. It definitely clarifies some aspects of the research process. I'll be sure to follow this advice.

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