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Research Strategy: How To Make Original Articles
How To Do Creative Research That You Can Call Your Own
A lot of writers on Hubpages are perhaps struggling to come up with new ideas and new subject matters. Many are perhaps finding difficulty coming up with something original, especially for common subject matters. It's the World Wide Web where there are perhaps dozens of articles published under your subject matter that come from big brands and you're wondering just how you can stand out.
Many have already been bitten by the "duplicate bug". You go about your business writing an article on a subject that interests you, you check out a few articles from well known academics, you check their biographies, you make the article clean and professional looking and wham! The nasty Hubpage algorithm calls you out on plagiarism! You ask yourself: How can this be? You didn't copy word for word, you did it professionally as you were taught in school, etc. I'm here to tell you that yes you most likely did plagiarize. Philosophically speaking, it's an unfortunate day when a computer program can now pick up on the lack of creativity better than a human can. Just what have our schools done to us?! While you may not have plagiarized by word, you did plagiarize by mind. The material itself was unoriginal, the words are just clothing.
If you want to make original hubs that are both entertaining and informative, you need to do the opposite of what they have taught you since grade school. This has long been my secret, and I'm now passing it on to you. The key is to create first, research second, and apply/edit last. Using creativity in research? No, you shout out loud! That's blasphemy of the new scientific order! I want to write non-fiction, not fiction here! I'm not a scientist, not a philosopher, not a teacher, etc, I'm not allowed to create and make it fact. I'm not properly licensed or educated! Please give yourself a chance. Pick a topic, any random topic. Before you even conduct any research, write 1000 words worth of what you know, what you've experienced, what you think you know, and what your intuition tells you; and subject matters you believe that may be related to the said topic. Once the 1000 words worth of "fiction" are finished, put your Google skills to use and verify all of the information you've put down. You may have to do some slight alterations. You may have to add a few numbers here, a few facts there, dates and names are always a tough area that needs to be thoroughly researched, etc. However, you'll be surprised to discover that most of what you've written is in fact correct. You're smarter than you gave yourself credit for, you don't need a PhD after all! What makes the situation all the better is because you've written the body of your text first, and researched second, you know the material is in your own words and from a unique perspective. Nobody else will get an article quite like yours in Times, Forbes, National Geographic, CNN, Reader's Digest, etc.
Last but not least, take the time to edit and proof read your work. Put it through a spell and grammar check. Check the structuring and punctuation of your sentences. Make sure you use paragraphs. Look at "the flow" of your document and ask yourself are the paragraphs necessarily in the best order. Delete repetition, and never be afraid to "spice it up" a bit with creative expression that's a little outside the norm.
Perhaps you're still worried you won't get all the facts or the correct information by doing this method. You're anxious "an expert" with tons of knowledge of the said subject will rain on your parade. Stop worrying and just do it! At the end of the day, we're all speculators. What's fact today is an archive tomorrow.
-Donovan D. Westhaver
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