I've had various conversations with family members where I've pulled in information I've stumbled upon through research for books. It's fascinating to give that information to the person. They usually ask, 'how do you know this?' When I tell them I had to research it for a book, their expression turns to either disgust or disbelief.
Hey. I worked hard for that research. I learned a lot, and they just ignore me? Eh. Their loss. LOL!
What about in books that you read or write? Can you tell if extensive research has been done?
Here's what I like to do. First, I look at the area where I'm researching, and get a feel for the culture. I read local blogs, local news stories, and even look up the cultural differences any way I can. When people complain about local ordinances, I consider that a blessing, because it gives my story conflict.
Then, I look up the history of the area or the situation at hand. I also look at geography and weather for that area. If it's prone to tornadoes, for example, you can bet that threat's always on the horizon, since that will give the story depth and more risky situations.
Here's an example of what I found about Haiti when I wrote the book 'Voo Do Love Me' which was the second in the Extreme Travel book series. I just put down information as I got it, so some of it may not be categorized well. However, each of these notes could be used as a conflict/plot point.
Research is fun, actually. If you're a writer, take the time to look into the area you're writing about. If you're a reader, you'll be able to tell if a writer took the time to actually do a bit of background for the book or not.
Have a great week!