Freelance Writing: Simple Tips on Complicated TopicsGetting Your Research Done Properly and On Time!
If you are reading this article, then most likely you are a freelance writer, and you definitely understand the hardships associated with researching any particular topic for your work.This part of completing an order consumes the most time. And in addition, of course, there will be even more trouble if your assignment is really specific and there are limited sources available.
What can you do about it? Well, of course, the obvious step is to ask the customer. If you are not able to find sources on your own, then you should turn to the customer for help. It is obligatory to get the sources; otherwise, your work has no point. Of course, you should only turn to the customer if you have exhausted all your own resources. After all, your client is paying for more than just typing – they are paying for your research and writing.
Before you send a despairing message to the customer, there are a number of things you can try to locate materials more relevant to the assigned subject. Have you ever heard of the term “custom search engine’? If you have not, then after reading this article you should definitely Google the topic. Custom search engines allow flexibility and access to many specific and difficult to research areas of study. For freelance writers who work in specialized fields such as medicine or statistics, customized search solutions allow to find information in seconds.
You can also fine-tune your work with the default online search solutions such as Google and Yahoo. For example, a number of easy tricks help target your results more precisely. There is plentiful information about this online, so I won’t elaborate on this. As a quick example, if you enter the search term ‘Hamlet’, with no punctuation, the search engine will return millions of results. However, if you place quotes around your subject word, e.g., “Hamlet”, as I just tried, the search engine will return a more targeted result.
You will reduce the number of results to mere thousands instead. Specifying even more, for example, “Hamlet”+”images of death”, will reveal materials much more closely aligned with your topic. These search protocols, based on Boolean algebra, work especially well when the Google Instant feature is activated.
Another important element in your research procedure is your strategy for searching. You need to articulate the main points that you want to cover, then extract search terms from these points. Basically, you need to visualize your search as mirroring your outline. Trying to find everything at one time, and inputting random queries related to your general subject won’t get you anywhere.
Of course, if by chance, you are conveniently located near a library, definitely use that! Even if it is associated with an institution with which you are unaffiliated, you may be able to get a guest pass. Brick and mortar libraries may have subscriptions to online libraries.
If you are a professional freelance writer planning to stay in this business, then signing up for your own subscription to an online library such as Questia is an ideal solution. Think of it as an investment in your career. I used to work with the Questia online library, and there wasn’t a single subject for which I could not find useful resources that way.
I hope that this article was useful for you and that you were able to extract something useful from it. As you can see, I didn’t provide that much info; you just need to search online for instructions. A little exercise for your research skills won’t harm you:)
Have a great day! Thank you for reading!