Thank Gods for the Interwebs
I remember being back in college. Research papers were always a pain. Research meant long hours sitting the library sifting through the card catalog and pulling books from shelves. It meant hours reading and taking notes. Nowadays the Internet has made research simple. One only has to go as far as her computer to find the information she seeks. With a little bit of typing and a simple click people literally have a plethora of information at their fingertips.
The Internet not only saves time but also makes research more efficient. I no longer have to stop what I’m doing, put a place marker in what I’m writing, or mark required research to do later. I simply minimize my word processing software, open a web browser, type in the search terms and find the answers to my questions in a matter of seconds. All during the process of writing.
This came in particularly handy recently when I was doing research on Brazil and California in the late 1800s. As I was writing, I found I was curious what kind of industry the Los Angeles area was beholden to at that time. I was able to find the answer under 5 minutes. This is particularly impressive considering 20 years ago I would have had to get my car, drive to the library, spend at least an hour researching, and then get in the car and drive back home. A grand total of possibly 2 hours for a single question.
For those of you who do not remember a time before the Internet count yourself lucky. You have truly been born in a wonderful age. I would never want to go back to the way it used to be.
By the way, I actually dictated most of this using the regular voice dictation software on my computer (inspired by my friend Bernadette). Yes I had to edit a lot, but it was fun testing it out. That’s it for this blog post.
What do you think about research?
About The FM Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour
Today’s post was inspired by the topic Research. This month’s topic in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and read their thoughts on research, check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour. I blog with this tour the 25th of every month.
I spent my final semester of my history bachelor program going though a box of government memos on Civil Defense and Emergency Preparedness. It was a tedious research paper. And while I may someday go back and continue the research, I am glad that I do not have to do that on a regular basis. It made me completely understand why before 2000ish, writers used to hire research assistants to do the legwork for them.
Yikes! Sounds time consuming. No doubt! I couldn’t imagine having to hire research assistants. Although sometimes there’s reward in doing the research oneself. Getting to go through boxes of government memos sounds kind of interesting. LOL! 🙂