Research Like a Pro: 5 Tips for Keeping Research Simple

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This year, I wanted to write a few posts around researching. After interviewing many authors about their writing process, I found that many struggles to research. Authors can feel overwhelmed. 

This month’s blog post (with many following in the year) will focus on five tips for keeping research simple. In the year, I will dive deeper into other researching topics, so make sure you keep checking back. Better yet, subscribe to my newsletter. I will announce the topic for the blog through the newsletter. 


It’s easiest to research by posing a question you need to answer. For example, if I was writing about a specific time frame, and I needed to know what kind of weapon a man would carry in that timeframe, I would pose a question to myself such as “What type of weapons would a soldier carry in 1718?”

I would work my way through that question before moving to another research topic or question.


Keep a notebook (either handwritten or digital) nearby to organize additional topics. Undoubtedly, the most exciting aspect of researching a question is finding new resources. However, the flip side to exciting resources can be distractions of more questions, topics, and themes.
By keeping a notebook, you will help clear your path for answering your first question and avoid researching burn out!


Writers need to write! Researching a topic or idea can impede the precious writing time. Set a time limit to your researching efforts. If you do not find what you need in that time limit, move on to writing intending to follow-up at a later date to continue your research. This will allow you the framework to keep your story moving without the roadblock of researching. 


With the digital age, there is no need to become overwhelmed with researching. Using technology tools like Scrivener, OneNote, or Evernote can help you quickly organize links, photos, or ideas in one accessible place. If you are unsure about using these tools, visit YouTube for quick tutorials. A few minutes reviewing how to use a tool could save you a headache later on when you are writing. 


The most important tip about keeping your research simple is to make a habit of setting dates for follow-up sessions. This way, researching will not derail writing time. 

By keeping your researching simple with these four tips, you should find more time to get to what you really wish to do, WRITE!! 


Follow Us On Pinterest: If you want more tips about researching, writing, or publishing follow me on Pinterest. I have dedicated boards to the writing journey.

Listen to the Podcast: You can also listen to my podcast, Authors of the Pacific Northwest, where I interview authors about their journey. 

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