Search for:

Posted on April 22nd, 2015, by

Before we get into how to use specific resources, let’s cover the general guidelines for research. The following suggestions can make your task easier and less frustrating. 1. Use key words. Start by listing key words for your topic that you’ll use to search for sources. For example, key words for a research paper on Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” might look like this: •    Gilman, Charlotte Perkins (author) •    “The Yellow Wallpaper” (title) •    mental illness (a topic in the story) •    nineteenth-century medicine (another important topic) •    feminism (a movement that embraced this story) 2. Include related words. As you list your key words, think of synonyms that you can use to expand or narrow your search. […]

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Posted on April 22nd, 2015, by

A search engine is a computer program that finds information stored on a computer system such as the World Wide Web. (Search engines have also been designed for corporate and proprietary networks.) The search engine allows the user to ask for content meeting specific criteria and retrieves a list of references that match those criteria. At the present time, Google is the world’s most popular search engine. Search engines that work with keywords help you locate Web sites. You type in a keyword and the search engine automatically looks through its giant databases for matches. The more specific the word or phrase, the better your chances of finding the precise information you need. For example, if you’re interested in a […]

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Posted on April 22nd, 2015, by

As Spencer Tracey said about Katharine Hepburn in the movie Adam’s Rib, “There’s not much meat on her, but what there is choice.” When it comes to movie stars and research source materials, quality counts. You want only the choice cuts for your research paper. If the material isn’t of the highest quality, it won’t support your thesis, convince your readers of your point, or stand up under your reader’s scrutiny. In fact, it will have just the opposite effect. That’s why it’s important to evaluate the quality of every source before you decide to include it in your research paper. The old maxim is true: you can’t judge a book by its cover. You have to go deeper. Here’s […]

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Posted on April 22nd, 2015, by

A Special Note on Evaluating Internet Sources Be especially careful when you evaluate Web sites because they can be difficult to authenticate and validate. Unlike most print resources such as magazines and journals that go through a filtering process (e.g., editing, peer review), information on the web is mostly unfiltered. What does this mean for you? Here’s the scoop: using and citing information found on Web sites is a little like swimming on a beach without a lifeguard. For instance, Web sites may be published anonymously. This means you can’t evaluate the writer or writers. Also, the sites can be updated and revised without notification. Further, they may vanish without warning. This makes it difficult to evaluate their reliability. HEADER, […]

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Posted on April 22nd, 2015, by

Now that you’ve gathered all your sources (or the vast majority of them), it’s time to take notes on the relevant material. “Relevant” is the keyword here. How can you tell what you’ll need for your paper and what will end up in the scrap heap? In most cases you won’t be able to tell what’s going to make the cut and what won’t. As a result, you’ll probably end up taking far more notes than you need. Don’t worry, nearly all researchers end up with extra notes. The deeper you dig into your subject, however, the more perceptive you’ll become about what you need to prove your point most convincingly. Here are some guidelines to help you get started: […]

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