Have you hit a research rut? With so many papers to present it’s easy to fall into a research routine that drains all the fun and exploration out of learning, but there are a few ways to shake things up and make your paper stand out! You probably use many of these resources during your downtime, but with a simple shift in perspective, you can rely on them to entertain and inform all at once.
Reminder: No matter what sources you use for your research paper, take a moment to really examine and evaluate each source’s credibility.
Want to give your eyes a break? These online radio shows offer more than true-crime stories. Everyone from biologist to economists put their research and opinions in audible form. There are even podcasts that focus on the research methods, or could give you leads to books, articles, and other sources that could be used in your research.
Simply search your research topic along with the word “podcast” and choose your favorites. With podcasts, you can research while commuting or exercising, plus you’ll have access to the researcher’s voice and point of view which could add a unique angle to your work.
Photography is underlooked in research, but especially in social sciences, analyzing a photo or group of photos can put a flattering light on your paper. Because Instagram allows you direct access to producers, you may even score an interview. In addition, many credible experts, news agencies, public figures, and organizations (ex., NASA, BBC, presidents, etc.) are on Instagram and share interesting facts and photos.
Hashtags are a great way to begin your search and related hashtags could lead you down an exciting path to an even better paper topic. If you are unsure of how to incorporate Instagram research into your paper. Come up with a basic plan and present it to your instructor. In most cases, the extra effort will be greatly appreciated
Who says research has to be boring? YouTube is especially good during the initial stages of research when you haven’t quite figured out the specifics of your paper. Watching a few short videos can help you identify patterns and themes much faster than reading several texts. With YouTube, entire academic concepts condensed into a few minutes, recorded science experiments and film footage from famous historical events can all be found in one place.
Concerts, Events, Talks
Everyone is doing their research online and, for most, scanning beyond the first page of search results is considered going the extra mile. What few realize is that live research gives you more than a great excuse to get outside. When you go listen to a talk or reading in-person, you have access to quotes that haven’t been posted online and real go-getters can arrive early or stay late to snag a first-hand interview. Even a single question answered is enough to set your work apart. With boots on the ground instead of fingers on the keys, you are bound to discover something unusual.
Don’t Forget to Still Include Traditional Sources
When using less than traditional sources (e.g., books, journal articles, etc.), it is always a good idea to include research from more traditional sources to ensure that your argument is well supported. Click here to learn more about primary, secondary and tertiary sources.
Research can become very boring if you use the same sources over and over. With these less than traditional methods, you can add some spice to your routine and produce a more varied finished product.