do the spadework

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do the spadework

To do the necessary preparatory work or research to successfully complete a given task or objective. Likened to working the soil with a spade when preparing to plant something. If you are looking to start your own business, you have to be sure to do the spadework first. I was up all night doing the spadework for my first case as a lawyer.

do the spadework

Make the preliminary preparations or do the preliminary research for something. For example, The department head did all the spadework for this agreement. This expression transfers the heavy spading required to prepare for planting to other kinds of preparation. [c. 1900]
References in periodicals archive ?
They are undertaking the bog spadework with National Park staff
A senior official of the ministry told this scribe on condition of anonymity that the minister has written as well as personally met the prime minister and requested him to delay the process as the necessary spadework has not so far done by the ministry officials.
Anderson finally bagged the goal the visitors deserved with a tap-in after Stuart McKay had done the spadework with a superb run and cutback.
Lock Nathan Sharpe burrowed over from close range after scrum-half Luke Burgess did the spadework before Rocky Elsom strolled through the France defence.
The United States doesn't understand (the importance of) spadework.
negotiator on North Korea, will leave Washington for China on Sunday to do the spadework for the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program, a State Department spokesman said Wednesday.
The Lebanese delegation submitted a draft neighbourhood policy action plan to the Commissioner and talks between the EU and Lebanon are scheduled for October to do the spadework for negotiations proper.
For this volume, then, the editors have done enormous philological spadework, and they present their results in a clear, careful manner.
DIG IT: Gardeners' World (BBC2) is much better with Monty Don rather than Alan Titchmarsh doing the spadework.
We did our role, we did the spadework and now someone else can do the bricks and mortar and take it from here.
He sees his book as theological spadework in this project.
Yet careful last-minute spadework indicated that rather than four knowledgeable sources, what they actually had were, in Kalb's words, "four different people who seemed either to be echoing the Judd report [from ABC News] without any independent confirmation of their own or conveying and then embellishing a rumor they had heard about an agent `stumbling' upon the president with a young woman.
She has done all of the hard spadework that so many are unwilling to tackle these days.
This spadework was a boom to the new generation of politicians who took over the centre-right majority in the 1989 municipal elections.