Desk research: what is this method all about?
Desk research is a research method that consists in collecting and analyzing information that is publicly available. It can be successfully used, among others, in copywriting. How to use the desk research method and in what situations will it be useful?
Desk research method – what is it?
Desk research is a research method that involves compiling and summarizing research findings and data that are published online, in journals, newspapers, government reports, etc.
Research is collected and analyzed to expand knowledge in a specific topic, such as product, service, competition, and consumer behavior. Desk research is often referred to as secondary research, which can help answer research questions.
Currently, the most common tool for conducting research is an internet search engine, although direct access to scientific texts, media monitoring databases, and consulting firm reports is sometimes also utilized. In this case, the starting point is the research questions, and there is no standard structure for the report. The researcher’s task is to find answers, describe them, and include them in the report. A desk research report should be logical and can be prepared in the form of text or a presentation with graphic elements.
How to conduct desk research?
Regardless of whether you want to use the desk research method in academic work or business, you need to know how to conduct research analysis correctly. Below you will find the 5 most important rules that are worth considering when conducting desk research.
Defining the analysis topic, formulating research questions
Before starting the research, you need to establish the purpose of the analysis and formulate appropriate research questions that you will focus on while searching for information. These questions should be specific but broad enough to allow for a comprehensive report on the topic. Determining a specific analysis topic is essential – knowing what you are looking for will yield better results.
Determining the type and scope of the review
Another important aspect is determining the scope of the research. This involves specifying the minimum and maximum number of sources that should be included in the report. By doing so, you will be able to better organize your work, avoid errors, and save time. The scope of the research largely depends on the specific project, the topic being investigated, and the goals set for the study.
Internal and external sources
After establishing the objective and scope of the research, it is time to begin searching for relevant sources. These sources may vary depending on the topic, but it is always worth considering:
- External sources, such as social media, customer reviews, books.
- Internal sources, such as company databases, interviews, customer feedback, repositories.
- Thematic sources, such as online forums, thematic blogs.
Collecting and analyzing data from various sources
Once you have gathered the material, you can begin analyzing the relationships between the individual sources and formulating conclusions. At this stage, it is worth looking for patterns, trends, inconsistencies between different sources, as well as limitations and gaps in the information.
Summary of findings
Point 5 is the time to summarize, that is, to write a secondary research report. The document should include an introduction, a list of sources used, a summary of observations, as well as a discussion of weaknesses and the way forward in the project. It is best to start by presenting the topic and explaining why the study was conducted. You can also outline areas for future research.
Desk research in copywriting
Desk research is a research method that finds broad applications in academic work, business, and copywriting.
Secondary research is excellent support when working on longer articles, such as those intended for publication on a company blog, where the content needs to be valuable and informative. Desk research allows you to determine the topic and purpose of the article, as well as gather and analyze information. Good research is one of the key elements in content creation. It ensures that the information contained in the text is both interesting and reliable.
Unfortunately, in today’s online landscape, one can come across a lot of false information that can mislead readers. That’s why gathering and analyzing information before starting work on an article is crucial.
- Desk research is a research method that involves collecting and analyzing information such as reports, studies, books, databases, social media, reviews, and repositories.
- Conducting desk research is straightforward and does not require special preparation.
- Desk research can be successfully used in copywriting when working on articles.
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