I'll take "Things I Should Have Learned in College" for 500
September 19, 2012 6:56 PM Subscribe
I write creative nonfiction and I'm getting to the point where I've almost exhausted myself on straight up memoir/personal essay. I have ideas in mind for essays that I want to write, but they require a good deal of research. Problem is, I never really learned how to research properly.
posted by Modica to Education (10 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
I was a terrible student in college and a drunk and didn't pay much attention to any of it. I have a very, very basic grasp of how to do any kind of productive research to find information to reference or reinforce what goes into my writing. I'm not good at finding books, articles, anything. I usually end up getting overwhelmed and giving up completely.
Now, though, thorough research is becoming a necessity and I can't just avoid it anymore and not deal with it. If I want to improve my writing and approach the subject matter I want to write about, I'm going to have to learn how to do it.
Currently, I just use Google Scholar/find a Wikipedia page and then go off of the citations to find more information, but I'm sure there's a better way to do things. For example, right now, I'm trying to find information on two (unrelated) things: Mollaret's Meningitis and the intelligence and behavior of the Corvidae family. But I'm a total idiot when it comes to digging deep for information.
So do y'all know of any good write-ups/books/guides on how to become a decent researcher? Or do y'all have any good tips or suggestions on how to do it? I'm looking for a pretty basic intro because I know NOTHING about the whole process (what search engines to use, how to keep things organized, how to distinguish a solid article from a crap one, etc.).