1. Moridin
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    Moridin New Member

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    non fiction research

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Moridin, Apr 6, 2016.

    The thought of researching the idea I have for a book, while exciting, is also very daunting. How has anyone gone about it? My idea id on the Manchester Martyrs and Fenianism in the Northwest of England at the time (1860s)

    Cheers
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Google is your friend. So is the local library. There is a wealth of information out there, so I imagine it can't be too hard to find what you're looking for.
     
  3. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was going to do a nontraditional NaNoWriMo this last November, a start on a nonfiction book idea that would take the form of a series of nonfiction essays. I realized at the beginning of November that, oh, yeah, this requires RESEARCH. Lots and lots of research. So I did something else.

    But I assume that that research will, yeah, take me quite a long time. The essay format means that the research is divided into smaller chunks, but it's still substantial. And a fair bit of it is going to be things that libraries don't hang on to or at least don't index--for example, I want to look at advertising for a particular product that was released in the first half of the twentieth century, and in particular I'd like to see advertising in a specific region. I doubt (if I'm wrong, please tell me!) that anyone has indexed the advertisements in magazines and newspapers.

    I don't have any advice here. I'm just agreeing that it looks like a lot of work.
     
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  4. JLT
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    JLT Active Member

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    How did you hear about the subject? Were there any texts that steered you in that direction? If you're using this in a non-fiction book or article and you happen to be in that locality, I'd see what was available in the way of contemporary reports, diaries, and other writings that may be archived in local schools. Another good source is dissertations that other scholars have done on the subject, because they'll probably list their sources, and these sources in turn may lead you to others. These can be found through the history departments of the schools, libraries, and universities in your area.

    Good luck with your project! But don't be surprised if the book you're writing doesn't turn out to be the book you think you're going to write. Research has a way of leading you down roads that you didn't even know were there.
     
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  5. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    Second that. With feeling!
    Amazon is a good place to start, read reviews, sometimes they include pointers to other resources there. Good luck from me too!
     
  6. JLT
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    JLT Active Member

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    Indexes (indices, if you want to be pedantic), probably not. But libraries of that region will probably have newspapers and magazines on file, as microfilm, and these can be researched. It will take a lot of scrolling, but the ads are there. Another possible research tool is Ancestry.com, which has catalogs from the major retailers.

    If you're really, really, lucky, the manufacturer of the product may still be around; if not doing business in its own name, it may have been swallowed up by a larger corporation that still keeps archival records on the product. I happened to come across a women's magazine of the fifties not long ago, and I was surprised at how many products were still around, although their parent companies have long been subsumed into larger companies. You'll have to research that, as well.
     
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  7. Moridin
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    Moridin New Member

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    It's a topic I have always been interested in. I'm Irish but live in Manchester and have done for the last ten years now. I'm just beginning on this project and I know it won't be easy but I am looking forward to it. Thanks for the advice.
     
  8. Rob40
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    Rob40 Active Member

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    I find my research easy to do if i'm interested in the subject. Look not just at historical text of google, wiki, pages like that but any books already on the subject diving deeper into how it all went down in detail because with how police departments ran back in the day as well as other functions of government had a big impact on that story, and so it will also have impact on yours. Be excited about the world setting and you will close plot holes and start new backstories that will lend themselves to new avenues to story, and finalize ideas of how someone did this there and there but had to go here for whatever reason...all solved and then you can just hammer out chapters. I finally had that all sewn up in my large project and then the very next day, when i was going to get busy on it, got that one email for a life changing job interview i've been waiting for...for over ten years now. So everything is on the shelf for a few months and its killing me.
     
  9. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    @Moridin - Is your book going to be fiction or non-fiction? Just curious.
     
  10. Brindy
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    Brindy Contributing Member Supporter

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    I started with Google, films, libraries and picked up loads of info, to be fair mine was a well documented historical event, I even ended up reading part of Samual Pepys diary, wow, that wasn't easy. Different websites have adverts on them that also led to new websites, which filled in more gaps. As I worked through my story I would constantly be fact checking and, as I used a book written by two American professors as my core research book, out of print but bought second hand from an online bookstore, I requested permission from John Hopkins University, who were very quick to reply in the positive that they had no problem me using it as long as I acknowledged it. I originally spent 3 months on research to make sure the main story would follow factual events and the timeline fitted. I can't wait to start the reserach for my next book, I find it really gets the momentum going, but it did sometimes get very frustrating.

    Have fun.
     
  11. Moridin
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    Moridin New Member

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    non fiction but now I'm wondering if a fictional story set around the events may be an option
     

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