Tag Archives: research

Where to Start: How I Begin researching my articles


I get asked a lot about how I begin my research on a new article.

Well, I tell you, it depends on the topic. However, some tasks are always the same.

I always begin with secondary research. What is that, you say? It is what has already been written, if anything. What newspaper articles, magazine pieces, blog posts or research papers have been published on the topic. It’s important to … Read the rest

How I became a journalist

I have never taken a course in journalism. Some would characterize my development as a news person as having been “organic.”

What does that even mean? Well, I’ll just tell you my story and you can decide if it makes sense.

Let me go way back to the beginning of my budding career:

As a child of the 60’s, the first big issue when I graduated from high school was … Read the rest

The Recurring Dilemma of Researching an Article

I’m in the middle of researching an article for Truthdig.com and I’m reflecting on the process and how not to get surprised when my research may take me to some unexpected places. And in particular, this story.

I pitched a particular point of view and was sure I was solid in my approach. But, guess what? While my initial approach did hold up, my interviews took me into a new … Read the rest

Lesson in Research Redux

I had reason to go to our storage facility and bring home the boxes of files I accumulated researching my book as well as writing it.

To use a cliché, it truly was a “Blast from the Past.” The book was published in 2009, and I have not looked at these files since. I know I’m an intense researcher and I know I spent a lot of time… and money… … Read the rest

Internet Deep Dive: How to Use Deep Web Search Engines and Databases

Photo by Jakob Bowman

I’ve been hearing a lot these days from friends who are finding it more difficult to find pertinent information from their Google searches? There are many reasons for this, one is the way the search is written. I’m a big advocate of Search Strings, and have a comprehensive list in my full Internet Research workshop. There is a lot more information in the Deep Web … Read the rest

How to Conduct Credible Secondary Research

Photo by Patrick Tomasso

In case a definition is required, there is a difference between “primary” research and “secondary” research. In fact, the difference is critical when it comes to conducting research and using it as source material.

Primary research is new research. It involves conducting interviews, conducting surveys or first-hand observation. An easy example could be a newspaper article about an event when the subjects are interviewed for information … Read the rest

The Writer’s Quandary: We Are All in The Same Proverbial Boat

A writer is a writer is a writer, no matter what genre we practice. We all suffer the ups and downs with creativity, inspiration, and despair.
I say this with all confidence, although some may argue that literary fiction writers are different than those who are journalists, nonfiction authors, and freelancers.

Rubbish. We all have our great moments of inspiration or times when we can’t find the right word to … Read the rest