Friday, 20 September 2013

HOW TO FIND AUTHORITATIVE


BACKGROUND ON ANY SUBJECT







When you're doing research or looking for information on a



particular subject, it's a lot like a detective checking all his



possible clues. The important thing is knowing who and where your



sources are.





In almost all instances, your first move should be to your



encyclopedia. if you don't have an up-to-date set, there's always



your public library.





Most of the time, and encyclopedia will give you at least the



general facts about your subject. You may have to check other



sources for more detailed information.





Thus, your next move should be books that have been written on



the subject. The subject and title sections of the card catalog



or the bound volumes of computer printouts in most public



libraries will give you plenty of listings.





After you've selected a number of books for background



information, check the magazines either directly related to your



subject, or those carrying articles on the subject. Most of the



time, you'll find that magazines will provide you with more



up-to-date timely information than books.





To check out information on your subject in magazines, look in



the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature. Under subject and



author headings, the complete collection of this guide will list



articles printed in magazines since the turn of the century. The



Suggestions For Use section will instruct you on how to read the



codes under each heading. If you can't find your subject listed,



think of similar subjects that might be related.





If your subject is part of a particular field of study, there may



be a special index that will help you. Among these special



indexes, you'll find: Art Index, Business Periodicals Index,



Consumers Index, Education Index, Humanities Index, Social



Science Index, Biological and Agricultural Index, and Applies



Sciences and Technology Index. You'll even find a Popular



Periodicals Index which lists articles that have appeared in



currently popular magazines.





You'll also find that most newspapers are veritable goldmines of



reference material. Most of the big city newspapers have



computerized indexes. Several of the special national newspapers



such as Wall Street Journal also have reference indexes.





Without a doubt, the New York Times Index is the most complete.



In these newspaper indexes, subjects and people are listed



alphabetically with the date, page number, and usually with the



number of columns devoted to that particular story. About all you



have to do to avail yourself of this information is to stop by



the newspaper office, tell them the kind of information you're



looking for, and ask their help in locating it within their



index.





FACTS ON FILE: is a world news digest that's found at most public



libraries. This is a weekly publication that's broken down into



four categories; World Affairs, U.S Affairs, Other Nations, and



Miscellaneous.





EDITORIALS ON FILE: is a similar service that comes out twice



each month. It is a survey of newspaper editorials than span a



wide range of subjects.





If you want to known about business trends, you should ask for



and look at the Moody's reports. These cover banking and finance,



industry and public utilities.





Most large libraries also keep pamphlet files for brochures from



various information services and government agencies. Be sure to



ask about these.





Whenever you have a question or want more information on a



subject, always check first in the material that has been written



about it. Public libraries and newspapers are free, and will



definitely point you in the right direction even if you don't



know much about sources.





One of the best sources of information is people. Ask around and



more often than not, you'll find someone right in your own area



who is well versed on your subject. An introductory phone call



and an explanation as why you're researching the subject will



almost always lead you to many people who'll be glad to talk with



you.





Interviewing and talking with people will give you the chance to



ask questions and hear specific explanations about details that



may not be fully covered in a book, newspaper or other



publication.





Researching and gathering information on a particular subject can



be fun, exciting, and very informative. It will never be dull or



boring. The important thing is to search out all the available



sources, and then to take advantage of them. From there, you'll



find it's very much like putting a jigsaw puzzle together; the



closer you get to completing the picture, the more excited you



become.





Many people find that when they begin a research project on a



specific subject, they quickly uncover so many interesting



related subjects that it's hard to confine their enthusiasm to



just the one subject. This is what learning is all about,



regardless of the use you eventually make of the informative you



gather. The more you learn, the more you want to learn.





Curiosity about all things, and good, basic research are the



prime requisites for any successful writer. To have read about or



experienced only a few aspects of a given subject won't interest



very many people. What the people want is a thorough discussion



of the subject from as many different points of view as possible.



This, of course, requires research, and to do research, you have



to know where to find the material you want.





Hopefully, we've "turned you own" with the idea that the



information you're interested in is available and virtually at



your fingertips. All it takes is just a bit of effort on your



part to avail yourself of it. Just remember, whatever has been



thought of or dreamed of by man since the reasonable amount of

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