Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week is about:Researching the Net.
What is Researching the Net?
That’s a term referring to the idea of searching for information on the internet. Almost everyone does it, but are they doing it right.
Let’s look at the pitfalls first.
Unfortunately, there are a great many pitfalls on the net that you need to be aware of. One of the biggest is ‘fake news’.
There is fake news on both sides of the political landscape. However most of it is on the left side. Still, you need to be aware that there is fake news no matter your political persuasion. It used to be that you could you one of the many ‘fact checkers’ to verify facts. I’ve done that in the past.
But these days you have to be careful even of fact checkers. Why? Because so many of them try to hide their true bias behind words like non-partisan or neutral or something like that. The truth is that everyone has a bias. Knowing the bias of the person who is rendering an opinion on something is helpful to you. It enables you to evaluate their opinion.
Follow the old adage that says, ‘follow the money’. Another tool is to examine their record, which way do they usually lean?
Does that mean not to use fact checkers? No. It means know and understand where they are coming from, then consider their opinions.
What about Scams?
Another pitfall is the abundance of scam artists. They create URLs that look real but may just be a scam. Or worse, they could be Trojan horses. So be careful.
Your best bet is to use websites that you know are reliable. If you must use a website that you don’t really know, compare the information with other reliable resources.
How do you find Reliable Resources?
Chances are you already know a few resources that you believe are reliable. That’s a good place to begin.
But assuming you have none to begin with you will need to grow a library of reliable resources. When I first started writing I didn’t know what I could and couldn’t trust on the internet. But I did have reference books that I trusted. Since my books related to the Bible, I also had trustworthy Bible Commentaries. That is where I started. I compared the trusted material that I had with the material I found through Google Search. Over time I built a record of trusted sites.
So, what is Researching the Net?
Basically, it is using Google or some other search engine to search for information. Novels are fiction, but you want them to be based on as much fact as possible. This is true in writing novels based on history (Biblical or secular) and Speculative (or Science Fiction). That’s right, speculative fiction deals with the future, yet to be believable they need facts (like the latest in scientific discoveries). When writing about current events you also need facts.
In other words, research is virtually always needed.
What I have found to be helpful is that when I find an article or webpage that is loaded with information it is best to use the Select All command and copy everything to a Word page. Later I can highlight the relevant material and maybe discover more than I was searching for in the first place. That way I always have information available on my computer that I can look up whenever needed.
Searching the internet is one of the easier things you can do. Just be careful.
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R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.