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how_to_create_a_well-researched_article [2013/03/22 18:21]
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-Researching Your Article 
  
-Unless you're already an established expert on the topic - or unless you're writing a rant or an opinion piece - you'll probably need to first do some research on the topic of your article. 
-Let me say this: There'​s a right way and a wrong way to complete this step. Here's the number one wrong way to do it... 
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-Finding one other article on the topic and basically "​spinning"​ this article. That means changing a few words around, perhaps swapping out some of the words with synonyms, maybe tweaking the introduction... and so on. 
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-Here are the main problems: 
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-    The biggest problem with this method is that you're likely plagiarizing someone else's content, which can land you in a heap of legal trouble. 
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-    The second problem is that your article isn't unique. It's just another ho-hum "me too" article. And that's no way to establish yourself as an expert. 
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-    Yet another problem is that this article could be just plain wrong. And thus you'll look like an idiot if you start spreading these wrong facts and ideas. 
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-Point is, don't do it. 
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-Instead, research your article following these tips... 
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-Use Reputable Sources. Just run a search for your keywords (like "dog training"​) in Google, and you'll see that pretty much anyone can post information online. Unfortunately,​ some of this information is just plain wrong or misinformed. 
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-That's why you need to stick with using reputable sources from authority sites or from other known experts in your niche. For example, if you're looking up information for a health article, then use sources like WebMd.com and the Mayo Clinic site. Or you can go directly to an expert in the niche, such as Dr. Oz. 
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-TIP: Wikipedia is usually a good source, simply because most articles point to academic or scientific sources you can check to verify the information. However, anyone can edit a Wikipedia page, so don't use any of the information without first verifying it independently on other reputable sites. 
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-You can also check: 
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-    Encyclopedias (either online or offline). 
-    News sites, like CNN, MSN, Associated Press, Reuters, ABC news and so on. 
-    Scientific or academic journals. (Tip: Some of these journals only print abstracts online, so you may have to go to a college library to get the full article.) 
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-... And similar sites. 
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-Use Multiple Sources. Don't depend on just one source for your information. You can get additional insights as well as an in-depth look at the topic by using multiple reputable sources. Use a minimum of three sources, but using a half a dozen or more is better. 
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-Put Your Sources Away When You're Writing. Once you've done all your research, close your sources before you start writing. That way you're writing about the topic in your own words, without inadvertently swiping someone else's work. 
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-Reprinted with permission from [[http://​www.writing-online.com|Writing-Online.com]]