Importance of Thorough Online Research and How You Can Hone Your Skills
To get the most of online research, you need to understand the entire scope of what it entails. If you want to be an excellent researcher, you must hone both your reading and writing skills. Both these skills can significantly enhance your comprehension of the subject.
Honing your study skills will help you to collect the target information from reliable sources effectively. Writing enhances your understanding by pushing you to turn an abstract idea and convert it into its concrete form. Einstein said, “if you can’t explain it simply, you probably don’t understand it well enough.”
For quality research, there are other critical skills you ought to have. It will depend on the kind of research you want to do. If you are writing an academic paper on a subject like urgent children’s care, you may need to interview social workers. Talking to people face-to-face can be a skill that can help you capture some nuances you will need for your study.
But online research is not just for academic studies; it can be beneficial to you in many ways. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits, then examine how you can improve your skills.
Why You Should Sharpen Your Online Research Skills
Investigating a topic online is the most effective and convenient way to understand a new subject. There are many sources out there you can access at the click of a button. You can avoid the pitfalls by acquiring the right research skills. Here are some of the benefits:
To Find Opportunities Online
Regardless of your age, there are countless opportunities online you can access to help you achieve your goals. If you are looking to go to college, you can find different types of scholarships on the internet. If you want information about braces, you can get it free from an orthodontist website. You may also find grants to start a business, hackathons to test your skills, or prospects for collaborations on a project.
The right online research skills will not only help you find what you are looking for but also gauge its viability. If you are a job-seeker, you can fall prey to unscrupulous employers who are, in reality, con-artists.
Honing your research skills will make it more convenient to find jobs and prospects. You are in a better position to evaluate the veracity of the claims. In such instances, your understanding of the digital media acts as your safety barrier.
If you want to find contests, grants, or scholarships, keep in mind that they don’t accept applications all year round. There is usually an opening and closing date for sending your proposals. Sending more proposals can, of course, increase your chances of winning. You may set up alerts to keep you informed of open opportunities.
Online research is also the most convenient way to find people for collaboration, especially in unique circumstances. You can examine the profile of a family law attorney or potential investor, from the comfort of your home. You may check networking opportunities for entrepreneurs or specialists in your field before you go to an event.
To Improve Your Chances for Success in Life
You can use online research directly to find opportunities or apply them indirectly on virtually all aspects of your life. From your hobbies to your startup, a little bit of research can exponentially increase your chances for success.
For example, some hobbies such as international travel can be pricey to pursue. But conducting thorough research can help you can find budget options to meet the cost of the trip. Some tools allow you to compare prices or evaluate the product with reviews.
Actors, interviewers, radio hosts all need to conduct a meticulous study of their subject to be successful in their line of work. For example, actors have to study their characters’ mannerisms and personalities. They can access thousands of videos online to assist them with their assignment. The same type of research would have been costly for an individual before the advent of the internet.
The internet can be an exciting resource for any budding DIY enthusiasts. You can learn new skills like drain line repair, electronics, or how to fix your phone. If you are more of a visual learner, you can always find the right mix of video and text content from different online portals.
For the Nourishment of the Mind
Online research is a daily exercise of the mind. Scientific research indicates that the brain is like a muscle; the more we engage it, the stronger it becomes. It improves your ability to recall and think critically about an issue. There is little doubt that these factors can impact your quality of life.
With tools that are simple to configure, you can conduct surveys and collect valuable information. Using social media platforms, you can assess the general population’s perspective on an issue. You can seek a broader view of people’s opinions on topics such as assisted reproductive technology. Using digital tools only, you can debunk misconceptions and learn more about your audience to enhance the accuracy of your message.
The more accurate the investigation, the more precise the information you disseminate will be. Detailed online research can make you a better writer who bases their concepts on sound logic. Armed with the results of your information, you could also take the role of a whistleblower. A Whistleblower is not the reserve of agents who reveal high-level information on the state. They can be ordinary members of staff in an organization releasing videos showing evidence of employee mistreatment.
Avoid Misleading Information and be an Agent of Truth
Have you ever had a friend who you felt was being misled by a con artist or seemed to be getting into a cult? Sometimes the implications may not be so severe; it could be that people on your social media platform are often sharing inaccurate reports.
Misleading information may seem trivial, but it can cause significant damage in real life. False information over a disease like the Swine Flu, SARS, or the coronavirus have, at times, led to mass panic. For example, when people have misconceptions of the symptoms, the hysteria can increase emergency room visits.
Digital media has turned out to be a double-edged sword. It is useful for cutting through layers of information, but you can also run into anything from half-truths to outright lies. The consequences can have a social, political, health, and the security of a society.
The word “fake news” gained prominence during the 2016 presidential campaign in America. It marked a new age of digital media. Even though portable devices had been around for at least a decade, it was at a time when digital media became truly ubiquitous.
What does that mean? It means we need to be vigilant by becoming the modern scholars who keep watch of information broadcast through this new medium. It requires us to equip ourselves with the tools to fight apathy and misinformation. We also need the courage and the purpose to see to it that the world is run through facts and not a concoction of falsehoods.
How to Improve Your Research Skills
To improve your skills, you need to have a clear understanding of what research requires. We will start by looking at the critical principles of researching. Then delve into details as you begin to appreciate the concept.
- The Credibility of Your Sources: Whether you are looking for an orthodontist or travel information, you should not ignore the source. If you see a sensational headline, the first thing you should do is to check the website. Most mistakes can be avoided by double-checking the origin of the cited information.
- Sampling: If you are doing an academic study, you may have numbers and percentages to support your proposal. But you ought to keep in mind that the size of the sample will determine the soundness of the argument. Just because 80% of the 20 people you surveyed say they like their roof repair service, doesn’t mean a majority over a larger area will also like it. The same principle applies when evaluating reviews for a product. The more feedback you sample, the more you can get closer to the truth.
- Cross-checking information: In some instances, your data must always be correct. If you cite sources that turn out to be untrue, it could have legal consequences. For example, a blog on childrens urgent care can have negative implications if what is shared is inaccurate. Before you use or share information about any issue, check with other similar sources you already know are credible.
Using Tools Effectively
If you are to make the most of online research, you must learn how to use the tools you have at your disposal. In particular, the search engine tool and its operators. Google does not always return relevant results.
For example, if you are searching for pet friendly housing the website, the search engine returns may only be advertising products. You can use commands to narrow down your search to pages with only content. The following are some operators with examples of how you can use them for your online research.
- Site: You can use the word site, followed by a full colon to find a topic or word on a specific website, for example, site:mydomainexample.com comfy sofas. The search engine will find information about sofas from the specified domain name.
- Intext: Intext helps you to find a phrase that may appear anywhere it may appear on a webpage. That means the search engine will return results, whether the term appears on the title, text, or in the footer. For example, intext: purple dress will return any part of the webpage containing the words.
- AllinText: With this operator, the results page will return pages with both words. For example, Allintext gutter repair will show websites with both words and not just either of them.
- Inurl: You may want to find a search term that appears in the URL of the websites that the search engine returns. The operator lets you locate only the sites that meet the criteria you’ve set.
- Around(x number of words): Find words on webpages that are close in a sentence. For example, Steve Around(5) Apple will seek the name Steve, which appears not more than five words away from Apple.
- Related: Finds a domain with content related to the topic you specified. For example, related: roof repair will return pages with the specified information.
- Weather: Returns a short snippet of information about the location. For example, weather: Los Angeles will show the current temperature, precipitation, and humidity of the city.
There are many other operators you can use to speed up the online research process and make it more effective. Have a list and store the operators as reference. You can always refer to it every time you need to find something online.
Setting up alerts
As earlier discussed in this article, some opportunities tend to be seasonal. Grants, scholarships, and contests are usually programs designed by the organizers. That means they have a timeline, and they have opening and closing dates. Employment opportunities also have specific deadlines to apply.
You can get timely information through your email by setting up alerts on Google. For example, you can create an alert for children’s urgent care. Every time there is a news report on the topic, you will get an email. The process is free and easy to do. Here is how to do it:
- Type google.com/alerts on your address bar.
- Type the search term to receive notifications through your email inbox.
- Complete the steps that follow, and your alert is ready to use.
You can enhance the search terms using the search engine operators provided above. In the second step, you can check the preview of results to see if it closely matches what you expect. Modify the terms with operators such as site or inurl to refine the results.
Great researchers have always tapped into their purpose and passion. They understand the power of information and how it can be a double-edged sword. Be thorough whether you are looking for an orthodontist or researching a college paper. You ought to make it a habit to find credible information and debunk misleading reports. Your mind is like a muscle that grows stronger with exercise.