By: Melissa Donovan
“‘Research’ is a wonderful word for writers. It serves as an excuse for EVERYTHING.” — Rayne Hall
Almost all writers rely on research for facts and information. Even fiction writers and memoir authors, whose work is either made up from imagination or based on personal experience, will turn to research to fill in holes and answer questions.
We use encyclopedias, reference books, and articles from scholarly journals, and we rely on historical facts and data collected by researchers so we can write truthfully and honestly. We also use Google, Wikipedia, and a host of other material found online. All this research is supposed to strengthen our work and lead to better, more credible writing.
We absorb this information and then spit it back out in the words we write. Then people come along and read our words. Maybe they go off and repeat what they’ve read. Maybe they rehash our material in a blog post of their own. Maybe they use it in an academic paper, or perhaps it inspires a poem or a short story. The information itself is constantly making the rounds, getting processed, filtered, and regurgitated. How are we to sift through it all to find reliable facts? How do we tell the truth from the lies?
And telling truth from lies is essential in conducting research. Misinformation is widespread, especially on the Internet.
The Information Age
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