Step 6 Additional research
Estimated time for completion: 3 hours
Inspiration from Mark Victor Hansen:
“You don’t become enormously successful without encountering some really interesting problems.”
This step is a follow on from the previous step. In the last step you started a mind map. You wrote a very general outline for your report that covered all the information you could think of. Today, you’re going to transfer that information onto your computer and add additional points to your outline.
First, open a document on your computer and type in all the information you’ve written in your workbook in Step 5. If you have Microsoft Office on your computer, use Word to type your report. If you don’t have Microsoft Office, you can get a free version of a similar software suite from Open Office. You can download it from http://www.OpenOffice.org. Alternatively you can use GoogleDocs to keep a note of everything.
After you’ve typed your report outline into a document on your computer, you’re ready to start into a bit of research.
Even though you’ve roughly outlined everything you know about your topic, it’s possible there are some missing pieces.One thing to stress here is that you can go overboard in the research and keep researching and researching and never actually write anything, so be careful here.
So today we’re going to flip into research mode. For each point you included in your report outline, you’re going to go to www.Google.com and research it a bit more. See if you can find more information to include in your report. For example, the first point in my “Goals” report is “What is a goal?” so I would go to Google and type in “What is a goal.”
You’ll get several thousand results back, but you’re only going to use the first 10 results on the first page. Click on the links, read the information, and add any interesting points that you find into your report outline.
WARNING: When you find new information, use the idea as the basis for a new section in your report. DO NOT copy and paste someone else’s work directly into your report. That’s plagiarism and it can get you into all sorts of legal trouble, so make sure you rework the ideas and write them in your own words.
Power Searching Tip 1 – there is a difference in typing in what is a goal? and “what is a goal?”. The first search term (without the quotes) will look for the following words – what goal. Therefore if some had the following on a web page what an awful thing to do have to do but to goal set – that page will be returned. When you type something into quotes it becomes a phrase that must appear on the page that is the exact phrase “what is a goal” must appear on the page. Using quotes you will get much better results.
Power Searching Tip 2 – you can exclude pages which have certain words. For example if you don’t want any pages to be returned that talk about football you can tell Google this. In this instance type in “what is a goal?” -football. There is a space between the last quotation mark and the minus sign, but no space between the minus sign and the word football!
The joys of the internet is that there is an endless supply of information, however how correct is this information? If you find something that is new to you, always ask yourself does it fit in with the knowledge and information that you already hold about the subject. For example if you are doing a report on goal setting and you find a new technique research that technique to confirm that it is actually true and correct. Always confirm anything you find questionable.
Remember the internet is a great research tool, but you can’t always believe everything you read. So make any new information you are including in your report is checked and verified.
Now you have the bones of your report together.