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How to Research Effectively and Become a Subject Matter Expert

    If you’ve ever taken the time to Google something, then you’ve started research! In fact, if you’ve stumbled upon this article, then you’re probably researching how to research.

    That’s a mouthful!

    Knowing how to research properly is the key to learning and being able to spread knowledge to others. Doing effective research can present you as an expert on a certain topic and make you very credible.

    Everyone is capable of researching, but doing it correctly will take your knowledge to another level. Let’s explore how to research correctly and effectively in this article!

    The Types of Research Methodology

    Before we can understand how to research effectively, we need to consider a few types of research methodologies that are out there. Each type is different and has its own use.

    Sometimes you’ll stick with using one type, while at other times you may use a combination of them all.

    • Explanatory research (Very common and is used to make generalizations)
    • Applied research (Solves an everyday problem through generalizations)
    • Quantitative research (Generalizations are made based on data and numbers)
    • Qualitative research (Explains research in a way that numbers cannot)

    These types of research are helpful in many ways and can be used in many different applications.

    The Steps of the Research Process

    Following the steps outlined below will help you do adequate research and present your subject in a professional manner. Research often takes time and effort, and you’ll want to do it correctly whether it’s for work, school, or just general knowledge.

    Research involves understanding a subject entirely and being able to articulate what you want to say appropriately.

    Choose Your Topic

    In some cases, your topic may be chosen for you such as when you’re writing a paper for class or when working on a project at work. Other times, you may find yourself even researching to find a suitable topic!

    Either way, a topic is crucial to have in order to conduct proper research on it.

    Come Up With a List of Questions to Answer

    You’ve chosen a topic, and now it’s time to explore it. It’s good practice to write out a list of questions that you’d like to answer through your research. Think about a few of the following questions when coming up with yours:

    • What is the goal or outcome that you want to achieve through your research?
    • Are there any facts that you need to layout to make a point?
    • Who are the authority figures/experts on this subject matter?
    • What areas of the topic do you need to explore?

    These are just some general questions to ask yourself when researching. However, you’ll also want to think about some in-depth questions pertaining to your topic as well. It can help you to effectively answer these questions throughout your speech, article, or paper.

    Start the Research

    With your topic chosen and questions set out, now it’s time to consider the avenues that you can take to answer your questions and learn more about your topic. Research can be done in so many ways, including:

    • Online
    • Magazines
    • Books
    • Case studies
    • Surveys
    • Documentaries
    • News articles

    Using any of these methods is a great way to find the information that you need. Many folks do their research online nowadays as it combines many of these different avenues of researching into one. You can often get digital copies of books or magazines making them easy to access through the internet instead of searching for them at a library or other area.

    However, if there’s no way to get access to something that you need online, going to a library is a wonderful option, too.

    Using these methods, you’ll be able to get the information that you need.

    Put It All Together

    With all the information that you need in front of you, it’s time to put it all together. Find the most valuable information that helps to communicate your points or helps with understanding and start writing.

    Depending on why you’re researching, you may make yourself some notes or get right down to writing your paper or script. No matter what, you want to make sure that you’re able to access and make sense of the information easily.

    Cite Your Sites

    When researching, sources are crucial. You need to have the sources so that you can cite them, especially if you’re working on a paper for school.

    If you’re unsure how to properly cite, you can use this website to do it. It will help you cite in the correct format after you plug in all of the information.

    Research Tips to Help You Succeed

    Now that you know how to research, we have some great research tips to help you take it a step further. Being efficient and knowing what is helpful can make the process easier. Have a look at these research tips below!

    Keep track of everything – Make it part of your process to write down every single source that you consult. If you visited a website and plan to use any part of the information, be sure to write it down so that you don’t forget. Keep a master list of all the sources that you use.

    Only consult authoritative sources – Some places that you end up on will not always be scholarly or correct. Landing on a personal blog page with opinions on a certain topic is not considered to be authoritative. Instead, you’ll want to go somewhere that is written by experts. For example, if you want to learn more about a medical issue, you may consult a study conducted by a licensed physician.

    Try to avoid user-generated content – Websites like Wikipedia can give a wonderful starting point and give you ideas or other areas to research, but be careful taking the content there as fact. Many users can contribute to these websites and while they often strive to be accurate, you’ll need to conduct your own research to be sure. Remember to visit those scholarly websites to confirm.

    Learn How to Research Effectively

    Becoming a subject matter expert isn’t easy, but through research, you can achieve it. Research is done for so many different reasons, from buying a dog to writing an article. Everyone needs to know how to do it efficiently and correctly.

    Have you learned something about how to research in this article? If you did, don’t forget to learn something new from our blog!

    Will you give what you learned in this article a try?

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