We writers are a diverse lot. We approach writing with different goals and objectives. We have different styles. We use different tools. Some of us have secret weapons. Today, I’m going to share my secret weapon with all of you.
But first: April was a pretty good month for me. I did a totally awesome interview with Sue Archer at Doorway Between Worlds. We touched on a number of things, but mostly we talked about sciency research.
This was an eye-opening experience for me. Like the proverbial frog who doesn’t realize the water around him is gradually coming to a boil, I never realized how much research has come to permeate every aspect of my writing life. I’ve become a research-oriented type of writer.
And this is where my secret weapon enters the story. It’s called Google Scholar. A few of you may be nodding your heads, but I’m guessing more of you have never heard of this particular resource before. For a long time, I didn’t know about it; now, I can’t imagine life without it.
Google Scholar is basically Google with a twist. Rather than searching the entire Internet—including all the political rants, conspiracy theories, and “simple tricks” for weight loss that make the Internet such a special place—Google Scholar zeroes in on academic publications and academic publications alone.
That’s not to say Google Scholar is flawless. It’s only as good as the publications it searches, and not all academic journals are created equal. Even the best peer-reviewed journals make errors.
But if you’re a research-oriented writer—like I apparently have become—this is a resource that can really help you find the kind of reputable sources of information you need.
So there you have it. I’ve revealed my secret weapon. Well, one of them.
So fellow writers, now it’s your turn. What’s your secret weapon?
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Today’s post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a bloghop where insecure writers like myself can share our anxieties, offer advice and encouragement, and sometimes give out tips to help us all get better at this writing thing.
The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh and co-hosted this month by Stephen Tremp, Fundy Blue, M.J. Fifield, Loni Townsend, Bish Denham, Susan Gourley, and Stephanie Faris. Click here to sign up and to see a full list of participating blogs.