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Research Skills Tutorial

Research skills tutorial

Kelly Dombroski

on 18 March 2013

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Transcript of Research Skills Tutorial

Research Skills Tutorial Conclusion Now go get started! Always check out the marking criteria if it is available -- it gives you some really good tips about what kinds of reading you need to be doing to get great grades. And one more thing... You can't write an essay off the top of your head.
Researching quality materials and citations is the first step to writing any essay.
Essays require citations and references from peer reviewed sources to support their claims.
These must be referenced correctly. Google is all you'll ever need?

So what is a journal anyway, and what makes it so special?

Okay, so how do I keep track of all this stuff? Finding a reference I already have

Searching for other stuff

IRL or Virtual Library So what's all this academic honesty blahblah?

So what do I need to know for my assignment right now!?

What's the difference between paraphrasing and quoting?

What's the difference between a reference list and bibliography?

Referencing websites... just tell me how to do it!! On Resources Making friends with your Library Referencing By Kelly Dombroski Google is overrated. Honestly. Google searches too much stuff for an academic essay. It's fine for a brief search for something you don't know that's more in the common knowledge basket -- e.g. what is the WTO or the WHO? But if you are looking for some decent information for your project you will end up with just TOO MUCH irrelevant stuff. Open up and search for Sichuan Earthquake. You'll get around 5 million hits. After the first 3 or 4 websites you'll find the information is repeating. Just how many newspaper articles and blogposts do you need in an academic essay? Maybe 2-3 newspaper articles is OK, but you aren't going to get much more than that on google. Prove it. The kind of stuff google turns up is not appropriate for an academic essay. Google searches the WEB, and any crazy conspiracy theorist or non-objective weirdo 'news' paper can post up their stuff. It's great to live in the age of information sharing, but sometimes there is Just. Too. Much. Sharing. http://weburbanist.com/2009/08/18/10-frightening-conspiracy-theories/ Got some time? Check out some cool conspiracy theories: What you really need for an essay are PROPER references. You need to learn how to be an academic snob. Google is the equivalent of eating cold soggy McD's for breakfast with your dog, when you could be having a champagne breakfast at a star-rated hotel with [insert current heartthrob for your age group here]. So what is the academic equivalent of the champagne breakfast + heart-throb gourmet deal? That's right. You know. Journals and books. http://www.nbcnewyork.com/entertainment/celebrity/Teen-Heartthrobs-52440237.html Procrastinating? Check out these teenage heart-throbs through the decades.... Yes. Journals are THAT hot. This tutorial has been developed for ENVG111 Geographies of Global Change students. It's meant to help you get ready for researching your major essay. It should take about 20 minutes, depending how long you spend on the procrastination aids I've included :-) Journals, books, chapters etc. A journal A book In the olden days, books and journals were made out of lots of bits of paper stuck together.

You could walk over the library, find the call # on a special card file, then go find the book on a shelf.

Now it's a bit more complicated... but some things haven't changed. A bookshelf Journals are like academic magazines. Here's how it works. 1st step Finished 2nd step Spark Last step Start Academics (researchers, lecturers, professors and other people who live at university pretty much all the time) get an idea for some research or an article. They then write up 5000-12,000 word articles "summarising" their research and send them off to be published in the coolest journals (they have star-ratings. I told you they were like hotels). They do some research -- like reading stuff, going and doing fieldwork, talking to people, and so on. They generally have to try and find someone to pay for it first. So they apply for grants and funding from their universities. After a year or so they might be ready to write an article.

This is called an 'output' by the university. All the academics have to have some outputs. No, they are not like THAT kind of output. They are really high quality stuff. Yep. Here's why. The journal editor receives their manuscript, and assigns it to some blind reviewers to read. No, it doesn't have to be in Braille. 'Blind' just means they don't know who wrote it, and the author doesn't know who reviewed it. So you can't just like 'like' your friends' stuff. The reviewers write a report about what they think is good and what they think is rubbish about the research. They also recommend whether it is good enough to be published or not.

The editor sends it to the academic. Then the academic often has to make changes until the reviewers and the editor are happy. After that it gets published in the next edition of the journal. Most big journals have 4 issues a year. Sometimes an academic can wait 3 years or more to get their article published. But at least you know that once it IS published, it's been through a sort of quality control process and other experts in the field have verified that this guy knows what they are talking about. 'Published' these days means a print version is released (somewhere, apparently) and that the journal and the articles within are uploaded to gigantic databases owned by multi-national companies. Your library then subscribes to these databases in 'bundles'. Yep, just like Foxtel. They bundle a whole lot of randoms with a few big names. But you never get all the ones you like in one bundle. There are four main types of books in the academic world. Monographs Edited collections Reference books Textbooks Think monologue. These are books are about ONE thing (mono) and normally by ONE person (or at least in one voice). These give academics big kudos and promotions. They are often peer reviewed and at least edited by an academic editor at the publishing company. Interestingly, they don't really get much money from these unless they can convince a whole class of students to buy it as textbook. Watch out for: conspiracy theory books published by unheard of publishers. These are often people self-publishing their work because no one wants to publish it. Other signs of this are really long repetitive books with really tiny margins and writing (to save pages, and because they had no editor to make them cut out the waffle). These books are a collection of chapters by different people, edited by one or more editors. They are normally on the same topic, but sometimes they really push it! These are pretty easy to get published so people aren't too impressed by these. But they are reviewed and edited by the person putting the collection together, who is normally an expert in the field. Main point: still good to reference. Definitely better than wikipedia. Not as good as journal. These are really big heavy fat books you aren't allowed to take out of the library. Fortunately many are available as ebooks now and your library will probably just buy those. Encyclopaedias Dictionaries These need to be up to date with important statistics, facts, definitions and so on. Atlases Yearbooks THese are books your lecturers assign you to read every week. They have normally been put together by some experts in the field and cover the field at a level suitable for undergraduate students. It's OK for you to reference them among other things. But not ONLY textbooks. And real academics wouldn't be caught dead referencing a textbook! Question: What type of resources will be most useful in your essay?
a) websites
b) newspapers
c) journal articles
d) books
e) book chapters
f) reference
g) textbooks
h) Other students' essays
h) all of the above Books take a LONG LONG time from conception through to publishing. So they don't normally have the most up-to-date information. They are mostly useful for ideas, theory, history, and overviews. Answer: different resources for different parts of the essay.
e.g. newspapers and websites for up-to-the-minute facts; reference books for definitions of natural disasters; book chapters and journal articles analysing the effects of particular aspects of natural disasters. Books on natural disasters, health, poverty and inequality, or on China, Haiti, Indonesian economy --- you get the picture. Other students essays? Probably not so helpful except for getting an idea of style. Remember we scan all your essays for plagiarism (more about that soon). http://www.google.com.au/ Keeping track of stuff Once you get all these cool journal articles and books together (more about how to do that later) you'll want to somehow keep track of everything. A common strategy for academics is to pile up printed articles and books around their rooms for students to trip over on when they come visit. But there are actually better ways.... Note-taking software Evernote, and a similar Microsoft program called Onenote, are note-taking programs. You could just type in the reference and write some comments about whatever you are reading.

Or you could get more savvy and clip articles, URLs, pictures direct off the internet and databases, as well as sending yourself emails, audio notes, and even videos.

I have a premium upgrade, so when I download a journal article I can drag and drop pdf files directly into evernote -- I tag these with stuff like 'ENVG111' and 'For students' and 'to read', and they are synced with all my computers and devices, as well as being available to me online. I can also just quickly clip URLs of searches etc for later reference.

See the quick advertisement here for more info. See this one for a more detailed view of how to use evernote in educational settings. Referencing software While evernote is pretty cool for clipping and storing and tagging and finding all your research, it doesn't really do much in the way of reference keeping or formatting.

Referencing software such as endnote is used to keep track of all the reference details of the stuff you find: the author, date, place of publication, page numbers of a chapter and so on.

You either have to type it in, or you can import it directly from libraries, or in some programs such as Zotero, you can just type in the ISBN number (books) or the DOI number (articles) and it will find all the info for you.

As you write your essay or research project, you insert references all the way through using link-ins with Word or Open office. When you finish writing you can then auto-compile a reference list. Just select the correct formatting for your discipline (we use Harvard/author-date) and it does it all for you! There can be technical glitches however. Sometimes it's just easier to type it out in the correct format. http://libguides.mq.edu.au/content.php?pid=114111&sid=1012047 Macquarie Library guide to referencing software: Information overload!? You don't need to decide on all this now... just be aware these things exist and when you feel the need later on, you can come find them. Cloudfile programs Do you use multiple computers to work on your stuff? Both zotero and evernote support the use of multiple computers, but if you are already using other programs such as Endnote or just plain old Word, how can you sync all your files to make sure each computer has all the pdfs you've collected, the notes you've taken in class, the latest version of your assignment?

Most people use cloudfile programs to do this. Cloudfile programs give you a certain amount of online storage, and automatically update your computers to the latest version of your file. You can access your files from anywhere, as well as having them safely stored on your hardrive(s).

With some programs such as Dropbox, you can also access old versions of the file, so if you really stuff up your essay edits you can find the original version. https://www.dropbox.com/ Go here if you want to watch an intro to one of the most popular cloudfile programs. Analog!? Digitally challenged? No worries, people have been doing this for centuries without computers. Your basic requirements are a notebook, some manila folders and a filing cabinet, or foolscap folders with dividers. So it doesn't end up like this Print out the articles you are interested in and file them in a new manila folder with your assignment name on it, e.g. 'NATURAL DISASTERS ENVG111. Highlight them, write notes on them and so on, move them around your desk and think about how to organise them by topic. For books, take a photocopy of the cover page and publication details, and table of contents. Write notes on paper and file the photocopy in the same way. When your assignment is all done, file them all alphabetically by author in a big folder, a filing cabinent, archive box so you can find them in the future. Kinesthetic methods Control Freak Methods Like to keep control over everything? You'll probably like to keep notebooks or cardfiles of your notes on readings. Use the note-taking guidelines to write a short summary of the article, reading, or book, including the reference details in full (in a notebook or on a 3x5 card). File your articles in alphabetical order by author so you can find them again as you need them. You can even cross-reference them to the page on your notebook or the card. Oh Yes. You have the power. Taking notes! One of the most important skills of research is note-taking. You can't keep everything, and you won't remember it unless you process it somehow. Note-taking is the key to good research. My favourite note-taking questions
1. What is the author trying to do?
2. How are they doing it?
3. How does this relate to other people’s work? Their arguments and evidence?
4. What do I think? (construct an argument - what is the argument? provide information on a field - what is that field) (What evidence do they provide for their argument? What kind of structure do they use to organise the information?) (your course readings, the news, lectures, other readings you have done for this research ) (and here is where you put your critical cap on, after you have attempted to understand what they are saying). Other methods Write a one-paragraph summary of the piece, followed by a one-paragraph critique. If you head this up with the reference and arrange it in alphabetical order by author it's called an 'annotated bibliography'. Getting it! Ok, so you have a funky reference list from a super-relevant article. They keep referencing this one article that seems to be the answer to all your assignment dreams. How do YOU get a copy? 1. You are reading an article. This one is by Fikret Adaman and is in the journal 'Development & Change'. Seems like this O'Keefe person is pretty important. As is this idea of social construction. Maybe you'll check out Cannon as well, since that's 2008 and might give some clues in interpreting the natural disaster you are working on. 2. You look up Adaman's reference list, on the last page of the article. Looks like they are both journal articles. One in 'Nature' and one in 'Disaster Prevention and Management' How did I know? Books also have the titles in italics, but the main way you can see it is a journal article is that it's followed by some reference numbers. The first number is the Volume, the second the issue, then page numbers. So you'll find O'Keefe et al in Volume 17, Issue 3, Page 350 of the journal Disaster Prevention and Management. 3. You go look up these journals, in the library catalogue or a database, finding the right volume and issue.... NOT using multisearch... watch this vid for how! Ta da! Now you have your pdf and you can read it, file it, tag it, burn it... Now you try. Just do it. NOW. Here's your reference Here's the website. http://www.mq.edu.au/on_campus/library/ ps. You might have to do additional logins if you are off campus. Use your MQ OneID. Spoon-feeding ALERT !!! More tips The journal 'Nature' might be harder to find. You might have to limit in some way because so many journals will have nature in the title. The article you are looking for is from 1976 -- there may be multiple electronic databases containing 'Nature' but you will need to select one that goes back as far as 1976. Spoon-feeding ALERT !!! What about books? Here's a book reference This means it is a chapter in an edited book Question: what do you search for in the library catalogue? Answer: The first editor, and key words from the BOOK TITLE (not the chapter) What if the library doesn't have it? Staff and postgrad students can interloan from other libraries, so you could get someone to do that for you.
You can suggest that the library purchase it, letting them know what you want it for, and how many others you think would use it.
You can search for it on google books and maybe get a preview.
You can search for the book title in electronic databases to see whether a review of the book has been published - this might be a smart move anyway, since then you can read a summary of the book and probably a critique of it by an expert reviewer! Catalogues and multi-search Databases The walk-and-look method The flogging-other-people's-references method So you have an assignment question, and you realise you have no idea what to read. There are many ways to make yourself a reading list, some of which I outline here.

I would say that 100% of the time you are best to start with the 'flogging-other-people's-references method', where 'other people' refers to 'your lecturer'. Surely there is a reason they have posted that article so many times on iLearn or cited that same person in like 4 or 5 lectures already!? FINDING STUFF We've illustrated this method a bit already - you look at someone else's reference list, or your lecturer's recommended readings, or an interesting reference in your textbook and then go find it.

To be honest, this is a really valid research strategy and the one I would use most in my everyday research. You've had some introduction to the material because of reading the way it has been cited, and you realise it might be really relevant to what you are doing. So just go find it, using the skills you have just learned. Here is where you need to start getting savvy. Research has shown that the average Gen Y library user logs on to the library website and expects it to act like google, for better or worse. This is understandable but it really doesn't work in the same way. For example, open up a library 'advanced search' and type in Hurricane Katrina. It brings up everything with 'hurricane' OR 'Katrina' in ANY field. THere is random stuff in there where one of the writers happens to be named Katrina. It would be better if libraries were able to be a bit more intelligent in their searches for sure. But for now, for some reason, they are not. So what do you do? Multisearch or quick search are good options for getting a broad overview of what is available on a topic, for example 'Hurricane Katrina' - but you may get in the order of 9000 entries coming up on multisearch. You need some way to narrow them down. A catalogue search is best if you want some general books on the topic, for example, to see what the best way is to approach natural disasters from a social sciences perspective. You may like to search the catalogue for 'tsunami' and 'health impacts' for example. You can then check out what is available in the library right now, and go have a look at it. The benefits of walking and looking are many. Nothing like actually being able to pick up a book and flick through it for getting a sense of its contents and a few random facts or references. You also get a free workout when you end up getting all these books out and carrying them home on the train. Another walk and look strategy is to meet and ask a librarian for help. They know heaps of useful strategies for finding what you need. Because library books are organised in topic order, you will most likely find several books on the same shelf that you never found on the catalogue! WHat's up with the crazy numbers!? Macquarie uses the library of congress system of library filing, which is confusing if you are used to the dewey decimal system. Grab the little number of the book you have found on the catalogue I'm looking for:
HV603 2004 .S644 T78 2010
Tsunami recovery in Sri Lanka : ethnic and regional dimensions / edited by Dennis B. McGilvray and Michele R. Gamburd. Find this bit first. The HV bit will be written on the end of the bookshelf somewhere. Often once you find that you can often find the book by looking for the title, and a whole lot of other ones. Otherwise just go through til you find the rest of the entry. So you have an assignment. It is asking you to write about not one, but two (!) natural disasters of which you currently know nothing about.

You know that you are supposed to somehow use this opportunity to display how well you have processed the information and theories given in lectures - but where do you start!? A wise professor once said to me, somewhat crudely but correctly: "you can't keep Sh*&!ing without eating". Although this is no doubt true literally, she was actually referring to the process of producing quality academic work. So your starting point then in writing a good assignment is READING.

This tutorial is about finding stuff to read, keeping track of what you are reading, and referencing your reading and others and ideas in your work. Let's get started! Now we start to get tricky. You've done some broad overviews of theory and approaches to natural disasters, read your textbook, looked at a couple of references you have found in there and from your lecturer. Got a book out of the library on natural disasters and economic development. You've started your essay proposal and have decided on your area of focus -- in this case on the impact of tsunamis on the environment and health, in both coastal Japan (Japan 2011 tsunami) and Thailand (Indian Ocean 2004 tsunami). But now you really want to find out what people have been writing about in this specific area. You probably need some journal articles. Because journal articles are relatively short and focused, they are much more likely to deal with the specific nature of your research topic. Catalogues and even multisearch mostly just get you journal TITLES, and don't search within the journals themselves, except for a few. To find journal articles, you need to become a master of the database! DATABASE Deciding on a database. When you logon to the library and select databases, you will note that there are literally hundreds to choose from. You may think it's a great idea to pick a geography one, since this is a geography unit, but in a matter like natural disasters, you are likely to end up with masses of articles on the seismic events or formation of undersea trenches etc, etc. which have very little relevance to the more social, cultural, economic and political approach you are meant to be taking. The library recommends some thirteen databases for human geographers. I'd probably go with 'International Bibliography of Social Sciences' purely because it's most likely to exclude all the ocean-trench-formation rocks-and-dirt of natural disasters stuff. Except I already checked this out, and there is only one reference to the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami event! Hmmm. Yet when I check in GEOBASE, there are 209 but about 208 of them are rocks-dirt-hydrology type stuff. Maybe the library recommendations for human geography are really unhelpful? By all means check it out for your particular research interest, but for now, let's go with my recommendation: EBSCOhost. Here's how to do a basic search on EBSCOhost. First I search for Tohoku earthquake and environment, since that's my interest area. I then do a more general search on the Tohoku earthquake and narrow it down using various tools. Using the Database Downloading your finds After you have found some cool stuff on the database, most have some sort of 'marking' function that allows you to view your finds in a separate folder, then make a decision if you want to access the full text then, or save the citations to your citation manager, or print or email the articles to yourself. MORE TIPS You can drag and drop or clip whole searches or pdfs into evernote (note taking).
You can save pdfs directly into Zotero (referencing).
You can email the search to yourself but not always the pdfs.
You can actually email directly to evernote if you have an account. SPOON-FEEDING ALERT!! What are the pros and cons of virtual or in-real-life (IRL) libraries? With all the availability of stuff online, do you think there is much need to go to the library at all? Part of making friends with your library is visiting it IRL. Libraries these days are places to hangout, study, browse the web, get free wifi, even drink coffee, eat lunch or sleep!

The library at Macquarie is a great place to have group meetings and just work on your assignment in a study-friendly environment without your mum/spouse/dog/kids/washing machine demanding your attention. And the airconditioning is free. It's also good to get know some librarians. Sometimes the best way to find out stuff is to ask a real person, in real life! Academic Honesty = Euphemism for "Plagiarise and be forever damned to academic hell" People write books and articles. You think they wrote some cool stuff. You cut and paste it for your essay. Your lecturer notices. You get a zero grade! People write books and articles. You think they wrote some cool stuff. You kinda paraphrase what they did (put it in your own words). Your lecturer either a) doesn't notice then writes 'back this up with references!' in your feedback, and gives you an F or low pass or b) notices and gives you a zero grade. Scenario 1. Scenario 2 Scenario 3 Student writes a fairly good essay. You find it on the internet/buy it or steal it off student. Hand it in as your own work. Lecturer notices (with help of turnitin). You both get zero, serious warning, and even kicked out of unit/uni depending on seriousness. So basically, academic honesty is about letting people know when you are using someone else's ideas. The way that we do this is through referencing.
Part of your university education is learning how to do this correctly.
You get marked down in assignments if you do it wrong.
Conclusion: you might as well just get it right! A quick guide to referencing right ENVG111 uses the Harvard system of referencing, also known as the author-date system. When researching and writing your assignments, it is essential to acknowledge the thoughts, words and ideas of the authors you have read.

Correctly citing your sources allows you to:

Comply with the University's Academic Honesty Policy.

Show you have reviewed the research that exists on your topic.
Researchers give credit to scholars that have done work in their area before them. This allows the progression of research to be tracked and acknowledged. This is how research works!

Show an understanding of the research you have reviewed. The Library says: http://www.lib.monash.edu.au/tutorials/citing/harvard.html Here is a guide to referencing Harvard-style, which should get you going on your next assignment: The main thing is that you reference in text using the author's name and date. E.g. Dombroski (2011), or Dombroski (2011: 2) if you are quoting page 2 directly. Or you can also put (Dombroski, 2011) at the end of a sentence where you are using some ideas from that piece of research. You can go there now to look, or bookmark it for assignment time. Anyone you reference in text must then appear in the reference list. It's a bit like the credits at the end of a movie! But instead of having the big stars first, or in order of appearance, it should be in ALPHABETICAL ORDER by author name. If you haven't learned the alphabet yet, here is a quick guide to the ABC by Elmo. Paraphrasing is when you are using the idea of an author but in your own words. E.g. Dombroski (2012) notes that although paraphrasing involves the re-phrasing of a concept into new words, it still must be referenced. Quoting is when you use the author's words. E.g. Dombroski notes that 'paraphrasing is when you are using the idea of an author but in your own words' (2012: 115). BOTH MUST BE REFERENCED! CHANGING JUST ONE WORD IS NOT PARAPHRASING!

YOU SHOULD BE QUOTATION MARKS AROUND ALL THE BITS YOU QUOTE A reference list contains all the reference details of the authors you mentioned in your piece of research/essay. A bibliography is a list of references related to the topic, or ones that you consulted but did not refer to. Most university assignments require this! Proposals are more likely to require this Both are alphabetised and contain all the publication details of the citations, including authors names, date, title, place of publication, publisher, and page numbers, editors and translators if relevant. References
Anderson, L. (2006). Analytic Autoethnography. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 35(4), 373-395.
Chang, H. (2008). Authoethnography as method. Walnut Creek, California: Left Coast Press.
Crang, M. (2003). Qualitative methods: Touchy, Feely, Looksee. Progress in Human Geography, 27, 494-504.
Dombroski, K. (forthcoming). Awkward engagements in mothering: Embodying and
experimenting in northwest China. In M. Walks & N. McPherson (Eds.), Mothering:
Anthropological Perspectives. Toronto: Demeter Press.
Ellis, C. S. (2004). The Ethnographic I: A Methodological Novel about Autoethnography. Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press.
GibsonGraham, J. K. (1996). The End of Capitalism As We Knew It. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
GibsonGraham, J. K. (2005). Surplus possibilities: postdevelopment and community economies. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 26(1), 426.
GibsonGraham, J. K. (2006). A Postcapitalist Politics. Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press.
GibsonGraham, J. K., & Roelvink, G. (2010). An economic ethics for the Anthropocene. Antipode, 41(1), 320-346.
Gronda, H. (2010). Coming home: some connections between body awareness practices, environmental sustainability and Australian homelessness policy. Seminar presented at the Centre for Citizenship and Public Policy, .
Grosz, E. (1994). Volatile Bodies: Towards A Corporeal Feminism St Leonards: Allen & Unwin.
Guyon, J. (1975 [1685]). Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ (G. Edwards, Trans.). Sargent, GA: Seedsowers.
Harcourt, W., & Escobar, A. (2002). Women and the Politics of Place. Development 45(1), 714-720. Here's the first page of a reference list from a paper I wrote recently. Note that the punctuation and order is the same for each entry -- there are protocols to how reference lists and bibliographies are presented. http://libguides.mq.edu.au/content.php?pid=102088&sid=767863 For more information about referencing at Macquarie, including links to how to reference guides see: A really good reference to find, buy, read and keep is:
Hay, I. (2006). Communicating in Geography and the Environmental Sciences. Melbourne, Oxford University Press (third edition). The Cornell Method This method has been around for awhile and has proven to be really good for people who take notes by hand. Check it out! Kinda geeky intro to Zotero.
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