Last week I wrote a post about reading about a mistranslation in Cinderella — her glass slipper should have been fur. I assumed this was a new way of thinking, a new discovery, when really it is quite old. I discussed doing your research when you write history so that you can use trendy sounding ideas in their original context and surprise readers with how “forward thinking” people have been through the ages.
It is also important to do your research so that you know about the latest and greatest information on your topic, even when your topic is quite ancient. This was brought home to me as a read “If These Teeth Could Talk,” a National Science Foundation article with a video about what scientists have recently discovered in studying dental casts of the fossil remains of ancient human ancestors. What they’ve recently discovered contradicts much of what I was taught about fossil man. Basically, what ancient man could eat often differed from what he did eat.
Are you using the most up-to-date information? Have you included anything that will catch your reader by surprise? If you answered “no” to either of these questions, maybe some new research is in order.