library research

My goal is to produce books that are accurate and current on each topic I write about. My objective is to take complex subjects, often filled with professional jargon, and distill them down so they are easily understood by non-specialists. The following approach is the method I use to accomplish that.

Source Materials

I begin my research by searching for other books on similar topics on Amazon.com. I then search academic websites for articles and interviews from experts. I visit the library and also review on-line journals on my topic. Finally, using an important source, I search http://scholar.google.com (not google.com)

Investigate

I begin with two to three articles that contain a survey of the topic or a related area. I may conduct telephone interviews with experts and source articles from scholar.google.com and on-line journals.

I search through publications and follow-up sources from the initial two to three articles and go through specialized journals on the topic. I review Internet pages of well-known researchers on the topic.

Establish the Theory

While reading through articles and journals, I mark the most relevant concepts, theories, models, hypotheses. I then design a matrix of the most important concepts. I mark the most critical ones and look for relationships. I discard the lesser important or out of date articles I won’t use.

Outline

I work on a chapter by chapter outline breaking down the book into subtopics and estimate the number of words each chapter requires to adequately explain the subtopics. This part usually requires three to four rewrites before I am satisfied that I have a clear and concise explanation of the topic.

Drafting and Writing

Once I am satisfied with the draft it is an easy next step to begin the writing using my outline and the organized source material. I average about three drafts. The book is then sent off to a professional editor for surgery and the critical eye needed to assure the topic is fully explained and easily understood.

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Best regards,

Bob

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October 2020