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Beyond Google: Academic Research & You

A Montgomery College Germantown Writing Center & Libraries Workshop

Allison Hutchison

on 24 July 2014

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Transcript of Beyond Google: Academic Research & You

Ask the 5WH
Formulate a Research Question
Write a Working Thesis Statement
Find Articles in Databases
Perform Preliminary Research
Talk to friends and family. What do they think or know about merchandise for teenagers?
Read about your topic. Try doing a Google search and see what comes up. Try other search engines as well. Here are some ideas:
Blogs and online or on-campus discussion groups
Newspaper articles
YouTube videos
Opposing Viewpoints database
How do students conduct research?
Beyond Google: Academic Research & You
DEFINITION: “A research question is a broad, open-ended question that a writer uses to guide the research process. In the research paper, the writer attempts to answer the question thoughtfully” (McLean, p. 325).
States the answer to the research question
Does not state a fact or subjective opinion
Subject to change
Allow your thesis to guide you, but don't be afraid to change it (McLean, p. 326)
Research question: How does the media affect teenagers?
Working thesis: The media negatively affects teenagers’ self-image by promoting the idea that they must conform in order to fit in with their peers.
Gale VRL, Academic Search Complete, ProQuest Newspaper
A Montgomery College Writing Center & Libraries Workshop
How to begin the research process:
Ask the 5WH
Perform preliminary research
Formulate a research question
Write a working thesis statement
What companies target teens?
Why do teen buy certain products?
Where I can buy items exclusively for teens?
How do companies target teens (strategies)?
EXAMPLE: How does media affect teenagers?”
Evaluate Your Sources
Accurate and reliable
Author has relevant qualifications
Writing is honest and logical
Free of agendas, biases, and logical fallacies
Steps are traceable
Point of view can be confirmed elsewhere
Websites are "free of 'clutter' like flashing ads and unnecessary sound effects"
Adapted from Checklist 11.1: Source Evaluation (McLean, p. 341)
Red Flags: Applying the CRAAP Test
C urrency
Is more recent information available? Are web links functional?
R elevance
Does the information support your argument?
A uthority
What are the author's credentials? Who is the publisher?
A ccuracy
Does the author cite data for evidence? Can you verify it? Is the language unbiased and free of emotion?
P urpose
Is the point of view objective and impartial?
CRAAP Test, adapted with permission from Blakeslee, S. California State University, Chico.
Organize Your Research
Keep a Works Cited or References list (ex: Noodle Tools)
Put information from sources in quotes & create in-text citations
Print out or save copies of your resources
Full transcript