In part 2 of Research Ideas You May Have Missed, I have 2 additional helps and 2 final thoughts. I also have some quotes from other writers in the trenches who answered my question, “Besides the internet, what are some ways you conduct research?”
Valerie R. Federoff, a freelance writer and tutor at Write 2 Teach says, “Everything is fodder for inspiration and research. Observation is one of the best to learn what audiences like and how people speak and act. I also like to tear apart film, news, and commercials. Other research includes politely asking an expert of a subject you are interested in for an interview. Nothing tops good books though.”
Observation: In my post 2 Keys to Unlimited Ideas, I expounded on observation and innovation. Observation is recording as much of life as you can as it happens. Innovation requires taking those observations and looking at them in new inventive ways.
Writer Alexia Martha Symvoulidou says, “If you are writing on a specific niche, then I would also suggest investing on a few good books. I have written a lot about nutrition, vegetarian and vegan diets and the books I purchased are a great help. Through their list of references you can find more books of interest that you can check out from the library. I prefer owning some books, because then I can make notes or write on them, which I would never-ever do on a library book. Yes, not even with pencil (Is it too obvious that I hate people who take notes on library books?).”
Books: I believe books that will hone your writing are a great investment (And I believe in not writing in ones that aren’t yours). Funds can be tight, but a resource that gets used regularly easily pays for itself. It also gives back to those who have worked hard to make those resources available.
Research: Final thoughts
Newspapers: In part one, I mentioned Bacon’s Media Directory that lists newspapers, magazines and journals in the U.S. and Canada. There is a similar resource online for newspapers called News Link, which also covers newspapers from around the world. (Can you find your local newspaper? I found my current local paper and the one from where I grew up.)
I also mentioned the use of local businesses and government offices. Science and environment writer Alison Gillespie had one more excellent suggestion.
“Public Affairs Offices can be helpful. Their job is to provide info to the public and the press… so if you are working on a topic and you want to know more about it, look for a society, an agency or an organization with a good strong, Public Affairs Office related to your topic and check out their website. Often they can set a story in a whole new interesting direction. And they can give you the lay of the land about controversial topics, etc. in a way that articles may not. Just don’t fool around — do some homework first so that the conversation or email is intelligent and informed and not just a shortcut.”
I have enjoyed putting these two posts together. Let’s keep the conversation going.
Other than jumping on the Information Highway, what ways do you conduct research or find new markets?