Research Tips and Pointers

Posted on November 8, 2012 by


This is a follow up to my previous post, Two Steps Towards a Killer Presentation.

So, we all know that in order to make a presentation awesome, the content has to be as well, it’s just as simple as that. Your presentation could be as interesting as the Mona Lisa, a Michael Bay film, or playing with this website for hours, but still be pointless, for if the information isn’t solid, the project is a waste. In order to get great information, I have a step-by-step process that I go to for researching a topic, but I’m not going to get too deep into that, for I just want to put out there some tips that I use when researching.

Obviously, you have to know for sure what you’re going to research before you research and I know that goes without saying, but many times there just isn’t enough information out there about that topic and you have to change. Often, I find myself always googling to start my research, and I always start with Wikipedia. This method was approved and encouraged by Mike, as a great start to find sources and get my research moving. What people don’t realize about wikipedia is that the wiki’s are cited at the bottom of the page with sources of where that information came from, and can give you a great overview of your subject before you dive in.

Once I get the gist of my project, I either use the sources that were cited at the bottom of the wikipedia page, or google something more specific about my project. I also try to use at least one non-encyclopedia/non-reference source from databases such as JSTOR or ProQuest, for those are very reliable sources and are full of information.

Now, in the age of tech, books are often forgotten, and we tend to only use the internet for our resources. This is a major problem! Books are an awesome source for information, if not the best. I know that I always start with a google search of my topic, but once I ‘dive in’ to research, I rely on books for critical information that I can’t find anywhere.

Once you dive in, I suggest that you take way more notes than you think you need for your project, because the last thing you want is to go back to research mid way through working on your presentation because you don’t have enough information; better to have more than less. Also, I always take very detailed notes because you never know how specific you want your project to be, and you can always simplify your notes to get a more general description.

All things considered, I believe that research and information is very important to a successful presentation. I hope you can use these tips & pointers in the future to help your research. If you have any questions about research techniques or anything you would like to add, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below! Thanks for reading my post, and have a great day.