I conduct a lot of online researches, ranging from academic-related researches to mundane researches. One thing that keeps occurring, or one thing I have found out is that when you conduct your online researches in a proper way, you get better results and quickly find what you are looking for.
At one point in time or the other, you might have encountered the need to conduct an online research; be it a scholarly research, work-related research, or a normal, day-to-day research such as researching where to buy a cloth from, researching on who to give out a catering contract to, asking for people’s experiences from using a product, checking out reviews, and so on.
Sometimes, researching online can be tasking, especially when you are trying to research about so many things. However, when you learn how to research better, your online research might get easier.
We not only carry out researches online, we also carry out researches at work, in school, at functions, and so on. However, one of the key thing that is common among them is that they involve finding out information, or a fact-finding process.
And so, while conducting a fact-finding process, one thing people usually hope for is to get factual information in an easy and not so laborious way.
Sometimes research takes time, depending on the kind of research you are conducting.
When it comes to online researches, we need to be able to key-in the right words in search boxes, in order for us to locate the thing we are looking for faster.
With that in mind, here are some useful tips for conducting online researches:
- Use the right Keywords: when you use the right keywords in searching for something online, it gets easier to quickly locate what you are searching for. With the right keywords, the right things you are looking for will come up easily.
- Skim for relevance: sometimes when we are searching for something online, we get overwhelmed with a lot of things that comes up. And so, in such cases, you might need to skim the documents or files for relevance, so as not to waste your time on things you don’t need.
- Take note of the sources of the documents: this is important, most especially for when you are researching for a research project, thesis, essay, articles, for instance. And so, endeavor to take note of the name, date, and title of the document, as well as the site or publication you got it from.
- Cut off distractions: I have encountered occasions when I was surfing the internet, and adverts or notifications distract me. And for, try to cut off distractions by login out of your social media accounts for instance.
- Cite and reference your sources well: it is not enough to take note of the sources of the documents you got, it is also important to cite and reference your sources in the appropriate manner, e.g. using the APA style.
- Use quotation marks while typing-in words for exact quotations: sometimes you might be trying to get an exact quote that somebody said, one of ways you can do that is to enclose the search query in quotation marks
- Avoid Multitasking: it is no longer news that multitasking doesn’t produce good results. And so, focus on a task before moving to another one.
- Add ‘OR’ to your search queries: to get more search results online, you can include ‘OR’, written in uppercase, between two related words in your search queries.
- Use Specific search terms: in order to get what you are looking for faster, be specific. For instance, if you want to research about ‘caterers in Ikeja’, and you only type-in ‘caterers’, you won’t get specific search results.
- Use specific online directories and search engines: there are specific online directories and search engines that can help you get refined search results faster. You can research some of them and list them out for you to use.
- Don’t plagiarize: don’t pass-off someone else’s work as yours.
- Double-check sites, and be careful about the kind of the sites it is: you need to ensure that the website you are researching from is credible, and so one of the things you can do is to double-check facts on multiple sites.
- Use advanced searches: you can use the advanced search button in the search engine you are using.
- Use Bookmarks: in order to have links of documents handy, you can bookmark them, so they will be easy to get for your references. In addition, you can even organize your bookmarks to suit your needs and to section different kinds of documents.
- Use Google Suggest feature: you can use the Google Suggest feature that comes up when you are trying to search for something on Google.
Do you have more tips for online research that can be useful to us? Please kindly share with us in the comment box below.
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