Information remains relevant in all aspects of writing—whether a person is writing a technical paper, academic paper, or even a work of fiction—because they serve as the basis for all thoughts, ideas, messages, concepts, themes, and discussions.
However, in researching for information, there should always be a conscious understanding of the scope and limitations of the writing. Focus brings forth such scope and limitations. This means that whenever a writer collects and collate information, he or she should only consider those sources related to the topic.
Our writing tutors and online essay help providers have come up with the following important reminders and guidelines for collecting and collating information”
- The Internet contains a wealth of information and using this medium is more practical than visiting a brick and mortar library. A writer can easily look and obtain a variety of sources to include news articles, magazine articles, electronic books, journals, online encyclopedias, dictionaries, government-produced contents, and company websites among others.
- Remember, however, that too much sources and contents from the Internet create a clutter. This means that a writer must be critical in collecting sources. Some sources and contents can be unreliable. For instance, academic institutions discourage students from using Wikipedia and blogs as sources. However, some of the reliable sources include government websites, contents produced by an academic institution, websites or contents produced by a professional or trade organization, news articles from respected news media organizations, peer-reviewed journals from a database, and electronic books.
- In considering a source, it is important to be critical of the publisher, producer, or author of the content as well as the instructions and requirements of a project.
- Because the Internet is too vast, searching for information can be tricky. With appropriate usage, search engines such as Google can make the task easier. The trick is to use well-thought-out keywords and be imaginative as possible when it comes to considering keyword entries.
- A database search from online archives such as ProQuest or free-to-access open source databases can also lead to vast amounts of reliable reading materials or written contents such as academic journals, dissertations, and other periodicals. A Google search using relevant keywords can in fact lead to these free-to-access databases.
- Using a combination of Google, Google Books, Google Scholar, and Google News can also make online search more expansive, yet specific and targeted. For example, use Google Book to search free-to-access textbooks, academic books, and other relevant books. For journal articles or unpublished theses and dissertations, use Google Scholar. Remember that some articles on Google Scholars are free while others are not.
- Collecting information involves managing an annotated list of sources or a summary of the information contained in each source.
- Your local library remains a good place for obtaining copies of research sources. As mentioned, however, the Internet can provide a wealth of information. In fact, you may ask your librarian if they are subscribed with a database provider.