My Top 15 Research Resources for Writers

Day 18:  #AtoZchallenge

Researching a novel doesn’t have to be difficult but it is necessary. Research can be as easy as typing a question in Goggle for information, looking through old photos, sitting down with an expert, or actually visiting a facility or locale.

If you’re writing about a time other than the present, the research can be more difficult. In my current work in progress, I originally set the time frame in the mid 1980’s and quickly discovered the need to do more indepth research. For example, cell phones weren’t available until the late 80’s. Different airlines operated than the ones flying today and only a handful made flights to the area of the country in which my novel was situated.

My research took me inside the airline industry, including the lay out of the inside of a plane, the cell phone industry, and to historical registries. Other works have led me to reserach arson and forensics.

So, to make research easier for you, I’ve compiled a list of my 15 favorite research resources.

  1. Infoplease – covers anything from current events to historical timelines.
  2. The Library of Congress – the world’s largest library with millions of items in it’s collection.
  3. Refdesk referred to as the “Fact checker for the Internet” this online reference site provides links to headlines news, current events, and any imaginable question you might like to pose.
  4. Google Scholar – a specialized search engine providing information on academic research.
  5. – offers 100 trusted sources.
  6. GoPubMdyour source for all sceince and medical research.
  7. Godcheckeryour God and Goddess resource.
  8. Writing World – for a primer of historical research.
  9. Find articles – offering more than 500 print periodicals covering present to 1998.
  10. – a daily press directory with access to the world’s largest news sites and displays a readable image from today’s frontpage cover of each newspaper.
  11. InterFireonline – the complete resource for fire services, fire insurers, law enforcement and others whose duties involve arson investigation, fire investigation safety and fire scene training.
  12. The Writer’s Forensic Blog – forensic information for writers from D.P. Lyle, MD.
  13. Mystery File – the crime Fiction research journal.
  14. MooseRoots – research tool covering census records, imigration, military, death, marriage & birth records.
  15. Writers Helping Writers – all about characters including the character profile questionnaire and the emotional thesauraus.

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So tell me, how do you start your research? Do you have a favorite site? I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, and Contently.


24 thoughts on “My Top 15 Research Resources for Writers

  1. Pingback: Friday Roundup – 22nd April | Stevie Turner, Indie Author.

  2. The very first thing I do is google my idea to find out what is on the internet. Then, I also go to Questia and see what technical books or non-fiction books I can find that give me ideas about my plots. In fact, I do a lot of research as I am writing my outline. I also read extensively. I like to know what works and what cannot work, for example in a love scene, if I am writing about romance.

    Visiting from the A to Z Blog Challenge.

    Patricia @ EverythingMustChange

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not familiar with Questia – another one to add to the list. Sounds like you have your research methodology down pat. Good job. It’s always as pleasure seeing you here in the Cow Pasture and thanks for contributing to the conversation.


  3. Reblogged this on and commented:
    These challenges are great and the information you find from bloggers is valuable because most of the time it is genuine. Check this blog out for some writer resources! -OM
    Note: Comments disabled here. Please visit their blog.


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