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Steps To Follow When Researching A Topic

When a person has a question about something, they often rely on the Internet to find answers. However, many people have trouble finding credible sources of information online because there are so many misleading sites.

What is Research?

Research is the act of finding credible sources of information to use these facts to back up an argument or opinion. The process starts with forming a question and using various methods to discover answers.

Searching for information about any topic will bring up many different results. Some sites may not be trustworthy because it is difficult for anyone to verify their sources. However, many sites do include links to credible sources of information.

Readers should be cautious of ads on specific websites because they pay for these placements, which may not be reputable. The more thorough the research process, the better one will understand any research topic.

Anyone can conduct their research about a topic, but it is crucial to stay organized throughout this process. It's also helpful to know what type of information to look for when researching a topic.

The key to finding excellent sources is being proactive and strategic with your research techniques.

A plan on how to write an essay in progress

Below are several steps that can be taken when researching a topic online.

1) Be Precise

When researching, one of the essential steps is being precise with your search terms. An example would be searching for 'dog breeds.' This statement would bring up a list of random dog pictures that you aren't looking for. If you had put in the search term 'largest dog breeds,' it would narrow your search to a much more manageable list of dogs.

2) Identify the Topic

Before searching for information, come up with a topic or question you want to answer. When researching their health issues, they should select the most important topics such as 'cholesterol,' 'diabetes,' etc. It is vital to choose something that you will be able to find research for so there are no dead ends in finding information.

3) Find Credible Sources

One of the best ways to do this online is by using Google Scholar because it filters through many different sites and only includes ones that can be trusted. Another great way to find sites that include research about topics is by looking at the bibliography in articles on valuable and reliable websites.

Once you have found a website with credible sources of information, make sure to note down the date they were published and who authored or co-authored them. If this information isn't available, it might be a good idea to look for a more reputable site.

4) Find the Answer

After researching online, finding information about one's topic of interest should become easier because the results will be much more manageable. If you cannot find an answer yet, try modifying your search terms to be more specific and narrow down your options.

It might also be helpful to create a word document that includes all the different search terms you used and which sites they brought up. It helps when doing follow-up research to use the exact keywords but get different results.

5) Organize and Summarize Information

After finding credible sources, it is essential to organize them so the research can be easily viewed and used as a reference. It is also an excellent time to summarize the critical points found so that another person who isn't familiar with the topic will better understand it.

Research Sources And Tools

Many different websites can be used to assist with research. These sites include information about other reputable and helpful sources when conducting further research.

1. Wikipedia

While Wikipedia may not always have accurate information, it can give a person a good idea of what topics need more thorough looking into. It is crucial to keep in mind the source of information and take it with a grain of salt.

2. Khan Academy

The Khan Academy is an excellent website for learning about various topics. It includes step-by-step tutorials, charts and graphs, and in-depth explanations about crucial concepts. This site can be beneficial when learning more about a topic unfamiliar with.

3. Google Scholar

It is an excellent tool for when one wants to search only through scholarly publications. This site also enables users to narrow their search and find information in peer-reviewed journals. One can set preferences so that the results appear in their area of expertise and filter through the list by date, author's name, or journal.

4. Healthline

It is an excellent site for finding information about different health conditions and the medications used to treat them. It includes general facts about diseases, tests, symptoms, treatments, recent news updates on the topic of interest, etc.

5. PubMed

PubMed is another excellent website that provides access to more than 20 million citations from biomedical literature. It includes the option to limit the search results by date and language, making it a handy tool for finding information about a topic of interest.

6. MedTerms

This website is helpful when looking up specific terms related to a medical condition. The best part is that its definitions come straight from medical dictionaries, which is reliable.

7. Neuroscience for Kids

It is a website run by medical students and other health care professionals, making it an excellent source for finding answers to questions about the nervous system. It includes sections explaining how different brain parts work and what happens when they get damaged or stop functioning correctly.

8. Health Information from NHS Choices

It is an excellent resource for finding information about diseases and medical conditions, treatments, symptoms, etc. It also has a section where one can find out which medications are commonly prescribed to treat specific conditions, so the user knows what questions to ask their doctor or pharmacist.

Conclusion

Researching an assigned topic can be very educational and also help one gain a better understanding of what is considered credible information. It can even spark interest in learning more about medicine and health care. And although it may seem daunting at first, with the correct tools and techniques, there's no reason anyone shouldn't feel confident in their abilities to find all the information they need.

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