If you are pressed for time, do a quick search, e-mail the results to yourself, and check them later for relevancy. You can always delete them and start over. Increasingly, full-text articles are included with each new release of these databases. This means you can print or download the text of an article without having to retrieve the actual magazine or journal.
If you find a reference to a magazine article for which the full text is not available, be sure to note the title and date of the periodical in which it appeared; then check to see if your library subscribes to this periodical. Encyclopedias are useful sources of general information and are often a good place to begin your research. Information is easy to find, usually through a user-friendly search screen, and CD versions of encyclopedias often include sound or video clips to enhance the text.
You might begin your search with a general encyclopedia such as Britannica, Colliers , or the World Book and then move on to a specialized encyclopedia related to your subject.
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Look in the reference collection for a call number area that matches the one in which you found books on your topic for example, medical encyclopedias are in the R section , or ask the reference librarian if a specialized encyclopedia exists on your subject. Most students today have grown up with the Internet and are accustomed to using it to meet their information needs. When you are gathering material to write a research paper, however, you should keep in mind that the Internet is not necessarily a reliable source of information. Some instructors will not accept Web sites as legitimate resources for research papers, so be sure you have permission to use them before you spend hours on Google or Yahoo.
Evaluating Internet information for reliability is not a simple matter. The number of results called up by a key word search can be overwhelming, but all search engines offer advice on effective searching on their home pages. Here are four ways you can limit and focus the results of an initial query:. Get in the habit of using more than one search engine to vary results. A subject directory search engine, such as Yahoo, may be a better starting point for your topic than a general key word search. Librarians regularly scour the Internet for exceptional Web sites as good sources of information.
Most libraries contain other collections that may help you in your research. Government publications are another good source of information. Many of these documents are available on the Internet. Finally, the library is not the only source of information you can use. Interviews with people familiar with your subject are excellent sources because they provide a personal view, and they ensure that your paper will contain information not found in any other paper the instructor will read.
It is perfectly acceptable to e-mail a question or set of questions to an expert in a field of study. Original research , such as surveys or questionnaires that you design, distribute, and analyze can also enhance your paper. Doing your own research is time-consuming and requires some knowledge of survey design and interpretation, but it has the advantage of being original and current. A good research paper will contain references to material from a variety of sources. Some instructors require a minimum number of references from several types of sources: books, periodicals, encyclopedias, interviews, etc.
Most, but not all, institutions will allow you to use Internet sources, but use them with caution. Be mindful that anyone can place information, reliable or not, on any subject on a Web site. For this reason, it is best to use research gathered from reliable sources such as books, encyclopedias, scholarly journals, and reputable magazines. As you conduct your research and think about your paper, keep your reader in mind.
Get Started - How to Do Research: A Step-By-Step Guide - LibGuides at Elmira College
Every teacher faced with a pile of papers hopes to find some that are not simply a rehash of known facts. Before anything else, teachers are learners; they like nothing better than discovering something new. If you cannot find new information about your subject, be sure to provide an original interpretation of the evidence you find. This way, you can count on a certain amount of shared knowledge. For a course in economics, for example, you can assume your audience knows what the Phillips curve relationship is; a definition would be superfluous.
Think of your readers as colleagues who want to see what conclusions you have reached and what evidence you have used to support them. Manage your time carefully. Divide the work into a number of tasks, develop a schedule that leaves lots of time for revision, and stick to your schedule. Choose a topic that interests you. Define it as precisely as you can before beginning your research, but be prepared to modify, adapt, and revise it as you research and write your paper.
Research question examples
If you cannot find appropriate sources, ask a reference librarian for help. When making notes, always record the author, title, publication data, and page numbers of the source. For electronic sources, note also the URL, the name of the database or site, the name of the institution or organization sponsoring the site, either the date of publication or the date the source was last revised, and the date you accessed the site.
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Use your source material to support your own ideas, not the other way around. Document your sources according to whatever style your instructor prefers. Revise, edit, and proofread carefully.
Steps to applying:
If you omit this step, the hours and weeks you have spent on your assignment will be wasted, not rewarded. Back to top Selecting Your Sources Not all sources are created equal.
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Year of publication You will find all of the above information on the copyright page at the front of the book. Back to top Books Book collections are represented in the online catalogue and may be searched in a variety of ways: by author, title, subject, key word, and sometimes call number. Strengths The author may be an authority on the subject. The information is usually reliable if published by a respected publisher. Several aspects of the topic may be covered in the book. Weaknesses The information cannot be as current as that obtained from other sources. Strengths Current information is provided.
Articles in databases are easy to retrieve. Weaknesses Some articles may be opinion pieces but are presented as being factual. Back to top Encyclopedias Encyclopedias are useful sources of general information and are often a good place to begin your research. This book gives you a candid and unbiased overview of the trend research process.
This book is written for everyone interested in human-centred innovation and for everyone interested in learning more about trend research.
easanagbe.ml Trend research includes so much more than just hypes, styles and the latest gadgets. Based on a 3 step method, you will learn in a hands-on way to scan your environment for signs of change, analyse your trend spots and apply your trend insights to kick start innovation. This book synthesises existing theories, concepts and ideas on trend research. The interviews with experts and students will guide you on your trend journey. This will help you to innovate and create change in the short and long term and execute your own trend research. As a lecturer, she shares her trend expertise with future trend professionals at Fontys International Lifestyle Studies.
Decide what you need to find out about When you are researching it is good to have a question in mind to inform what you are looking for. Ask yourself: What is the question about? What does it mean? What do I need to do? Steps for writing an assignment — Analyse the question When you look at the question, think about whether you need to find information that is fact, opinion, personal reflections, news or other reports, analyses, or something different.
This may depend on: What you have to do. The length of the assignment, and how much the assignment is worth or percentage of the trimester mark. Think about what you know already When you start searching for information, brainstorm what you already know: What exactly is this about? What do I already know?
What do I need to find out? What approach am I going to take?
Find and evaluate information As well as looking in your learning materials for information, you could also try: Recommended readings or set texts if your course has any. The Open Polytechnic Library.
Research is a critical part of the job search process.
Your local public library. Talking to experts. Online sources - Research using the internet.