Researching on a very broad topic is work enough. Consolidating your research later is another story.
It is common to encounter a bulk of scattered and non-linear resources when researching through mental health articles, both online and off line. But the truth is, even when these articles came from different authors with different ideas and issues in mind, the researcher should still be able to crop out the best ideas and consolidate them to make a decent and productive research. Here are some advices:
a. Choose a single idea and expound it
It is usually the case of scattered ideas for a personal research. The researcher would pick a random idea on mental health. This is a common practice but not really a good one. Picking an idea that popped out from nowhere indicates the lack of sufficient direction in your research. If you are using the keyword “mental health“, it is best to skim through the topics first then take note of those which interested you most. Then research for the articles having the particular keyword on their titles.
b. Research for online sites that are niched to article directories.
Usually, some have free services while others require membership fees. However, you must not get stuck on using these directories alone. It is also best to make use of the large sources from individual websites. Psychological websites and websites advocating mental health normally have huge inventories of psychological articles that could support your research. There are also websites dedicated to individual disorders under the umbrella of mental illness.
c. Validate your research
Wikipedia or any academic websites are good places to start your research with. But research must not start and end on a single website. Try other websites and click on the links and suggested sources on each webpages that are relevant to your research. Take note of any recommendations on each web page. Searching through various resources would give you a comprehensive perspective for your research. Also, websites vary in their approach on hosting information.
d. Try experimenting on keywords and keyphrases
You can start with a simple keyphrase such as “mental health disorders” for your initial research. But as you advance in your study you will find that this topic is written in various articles adopting issues on different mental heath disorders. Take note of the general topic surrounding these articles. If you are looking for a specific idea such as changes in personality, you could look up personality disorders. This will then branch out to sub-categories that would direct your focus of research.
Additionally, you will find, as you skim or read, on mental wellness articles pieces of ideas that would either broaden or narrow your research.
e. Digest each information one at a time
It is impossible to arrive at a decent research if you are tackling all information at once. Get sufficient sense of the topic on the articles then outline the ideas that interest you most.
f. Don’t get lost
When researching for online articles, it is easy to get lost through the mass of available articles by clicking irrelevant links and suggested resources. This could be prevented by organizing your ideas first after some research and consciously tying all research to a single common thought.
There is no discounting the fact that online research is tricky since it only takes some efforts to put up a professional-looking website that hosts mental health articles. But following the above advices could lighten the load of your research.