Do you want to learn research skills for freelance writers? If so, read these ten tips! The first step is finding credible information. You’ve got to be able to determine what’s credible and what’s not.

As a freelance writer, this is critical. Luckily, there are some great tactics to ensure you’re doing this well. Whether you’re working on a blog post for a company or writing a journalism piece for a newspaper, getting the facts right is equally important.

Freelance writing is a rewarding but challenging profession that demands continuous learning and adaptability. One of the fundamental skills every freelance writer must possess is the ability to find credible information. Whether you’re working on an article, blog post, or report, the quality of your research can make or break your content.

>>>>> Data-Driven Storytelling: Freelance Writers’ Secret Weapon for Captivating Editors

In this article, we’ll explore ten research skills that will help you find reliable information to enhance your writing.

1. Define Your Research Objectives

Before diving into research, it’s crucial to clearly understand what you’re looking for. Define your research objectives, which should align with the topic you’re writing about. Ask yourself:

  • What specific information do I need?
  • What are the key questions I want to answer?
  • What is the purpose of my research?

Having well-defined objectives will guide your research efforts and save you time.

2. Choose Reliable Sources

Not all sources are created equal. To find credible information, focus on reputable sources such as:

  • Academic Journals: Peer-reviewed journals often contain well-researched and reliable information.
  • Government Websites: Government agencies provide authoritative data on various topics.
  • Universities and Educational Institutions: These institutions publish trustworthy research papers and reports.
  • Experts and Interviews: Conduct interviews with subject matter experts to gather firsthand insights.
  • Books: Books authored by reputable experts can be invaluable sources of information.

Steer clear of user-generated content, like Wikipedia, when seeking credible information. While Wikipedia can be a useful starting point, it should not be your primary source for research.

3. Utilize Library Databases

Most freelance writers overlook the wealth of information available through library databases. Many libraries grant access to online databases containing academic journals, magazines, newspapers, and other scholarly sources. These resources can provide in-depth information on a wide range of topics. Check with your local library or inquire about online access.

4. Verify the Publication Date

Ensure that the information you’re using is current and relevant. Information can become outdated quickly, especially in fast-paced fields like technology or medicine. Always check the publication date of your sources and prioritize the most recent ones.

5. Cross-reference Information

Cross-referencing is a critical step in ensuring the accuracy of your research. If multiple credible sources confirm the same information, it’s more likely to be reliable. On the other hand, if you encounter conflicting information, dig deeper to determine the most accurate and supported data.

6. Evaluate the Author’s Credentials

Assess the author’s qualifications and expertise. Are they an expert in the field you’re researching? Look for their credentials, academic affiliations, or professional experience. Credible authors are more likely to produce reliable content.

7. Beware of Bias

Bias can skew the information you find. Be mindful of the source’s potential bias and agenda. Consider whether the source may have a vested interest in presenting information in a particular way. Diversify your sources to gain a balanced perspective.

8. Take Notes and Organize Information

While conducting research, take thorough notes and organize your findings. This will help you keep track of your sources and easily reference them when writing. Tools like digital note-taking apps or citation management software can be valuable in this regard.

9. Use Proper Citation

When you incorporate information from external sources into your writing, always provide proper citations. This gives credit to the original author and adds credibility to your work. Use a consistent citation style, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago, depending on your field.

10. Stay Ethical

Ethical research is paramount for freelance writers. Avoid plagiarism at all costs. If you’re using someone else’s words or ideas, properly attribute them. Plagiarism can severely damage your reputation and career.


When it comes to freelance writing, research skills are a must! The ability to find credible information is essential for producing high-quality content that informs and engages your audience. By following these ten research skills, you’ll be well-equipped to find reliable sources and enhance the credibility of your freelance writing. Keep honing these skills, and your writing career will continue to thrive.