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Researching & Information Quality, Note Taking & Scimming/ Scanning

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by

Caroline Proctor

on 9 October 2012

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Transcript of Researching & Information Quality, Note Taking & Scimming/ Scanning

Research Researching, Information
Quality,Note Taking, Skimming
& Scanning (cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr (cc) photo by Franco Folini on Flickr (cc) photo by jimmyharris on Flickr (cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr (cc) photo by jimmyharris on Flickr (cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr The ability to locate relevant sources of information & to extract useful data/ information is a very important skill It is essential that you question every single source of information you find for its reliability- does the author have the right credentials? Anyone can publish a website? Is the author trying to sway you towards one side of an argument? See the LRC guide 'Evaluating Information'. The LRC has a variety of academic databases, ebooks, journals and books which you can use to ensure you find authoritative information...Never rely on wikipedia! Never cut & paste! It is essential that the information you use is accurate or you base your whole essay around inaccuracies! Task: Different sources
of information-
The Good & The Bad! Generally you will be required to read & include more than one source for an assignment. This is to ensure you get a critical perspective and can back your opinion up with fact. When researching make sure you make note of all the information sources you have used! This will save time when you begin to reference. LRC Support The LRC has staff with excellent
subject knowledge and can help
with most enquiries- or point you
in the right direction The LRC offers study skills drop
in sessions: Cauldon LRC on Mondays 10am-12pm & Burslem LRC 10am-12pm. Come along with an study skills based questions on your own or in small groups The LRC has its own Moodle pages filled with help guides, study skills information and links to reliable information sources http://heritage.stokecoll.ac.uk/ Make notes on useful information as you go along. When making notes whilst you are skimming & scanning information sources make sure you include the bibliographic details so you can revisit the source if you find your notes difficult to understand when you come to write your essay! Information quality You need to question every source of information you consider using. If you are using books and journals in the LRC library you can be fairly certain that the information is up to date and accurate- but do always be aware of bias! The internet is generally unregulated- be aware! If you are using books in the library you know they have been checked at least three times. Ask yourself...
Who!?
When!? Where!? Some information on the web may be out of date, some sites may have been abandoned and some disappear without warning. Ask yourself: When was the information originally produced? Is it still useful? Has it been updated recently? Can you find a publication date? Look at the URL or the 'About Us'
section to see if you can tell where a site is based. ac & .gov sites may offer some guarantee of quality. Non-profit organisations (.org) & commercial companies (.co & .com) are not regulated externally so the quality of the information relies upon the company or organisation. Anyone can set up a website, you need to find out who the author is to assess their credentials.
Check the URL. This can tell you more about who owns the site:
ac. Academic i.e. University
co. or com. commercial
gov. Government
org. non- governmental, non profit making organisations. *It will give you ideas
*It will broaden your understanding of a topic
*To understand what other people say about a topic
*To 'legitimise' your arguments - you need to provide evidence that backs up any points you make. Why cant I just write what I already know? How do I choose what to read?! Take advise from teachers/ LRC staff & others students in your class
Locate books or websites that appear relevant to your topic by using the library catalogue or searching online
Identify key texts by noting those that are referred to often. Read the most popular and relevant items you find first
Accept that you can't read everything written on a topic!!!
Class reading lists! Skimming, Scanning & Note Taking Skimming What is skimming? Running your eyes quickly over a text in order to get the gist and to decide whether it is worth going on to scan read. Skim the text quickly to:

* get an indication of the scope and content of the
text
* read the first and last paragraphs to get the main
points
* look at the first sentence of each paragraph to
see where the content of the paragraph will lead
* note the key points in the summaries. Scanning What is scanning? Running your eyes quickly over the text to locate specific words or phrases that are of interest. How to read a book in 5 minutes! No one expects you to read books
cover to cover when researching

Learning to scan and skim read is a vital
part of researching and will save you
time! When you find a book you think is relevant, follow these 5 steps:

1. Note down the author(s), title, publisher and publication
date. You will need this information for your references.

2. Look in the book for the abstract, summary & conclusion
...read these first! You can read these quite quickly scanning
the contents and highlighting relevant parts.

3. If the book seems relevant look at the contents page and
identify chapters that sound useful- focus on these next.
Read the introduction & conclusion of each chapter &
decide if they are worth reading later in more detail. 4. Now read the index to look up specific points you are interested in- for example, people, events etc... Mark which of these pages you think may be worth reading in more detail.


5. Remember that key points in the text will often be written in bold or highlighted. When 'Skim' reading try just reading these until you find a relevant section! Task: Newspaper articles- read the headline to get the gist of the article- skim & scan and pick out 5 bullets that sum up the article & pick out the main key points. Note Taking (cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr (cc) photo by Franco Folini on Flickr (cc) photo by jimmyharris on Flickr (cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr As a student you will encounter two types of note taking: 1- making notes in class. 2. Making notes as a result of private study & reading There are many ways of writing notes, it is best to try them all to see which method works for you. The most important point is that they are useful later when you wish to re-use them.

Why make notes?
•Notes make you concentrate on what you are learning
•Notes make you put ideas into your own words and so aid
understanding
•Notes help you remember things better
•Notes are excellent for revision & writing assignments Types of notes: Task: How to spot a
credible website What can I use? We subscribe to a number of e-resources. These are all academic databases, some subject specific and all hold up to date, relevant information for you to use in your college work. Ebrary: http://site.ebrary.com/lib/stokeontrent/home.action?force=1 Bized: http://www.bized.co.uk/ Britannica Encyclopedia:http://www.britannica.com/?cameFromBol=true Moodle: http://moodle.stokecoll.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=31 Why should I use Mind- mapping? Revision Helps you to develop new & unexpected ideas Add links to websites & books Excellent for planning assignments Provides a clear structure on which to base your assignment Note taking- as you carry out research add further branches to your mind map Creative- more interesting & stimulating than linear notes The LRC also has a large collection of books and journals you can use when you begin to research for your assignments. Introduction:-

Why do we have to research?
What will be expected of you?
Useful tips
Where to look
What questions to ask! Some points to remember:- Examine the website carefully- look for positive & negative evidence of authorship, sources of ideas, sponsorship & indicators of care
URL- What is the domain address
Title- Does the title indicate a purpose for the site?
Date of creation/ recent changes- Is the information current/ is it being updated regularly?
Resources/ References- Are quality information sources cited?
Content- What is the purpose of the site? Is bias evident?
Presentation- Does the style and format indicate the content is believable? Is the site free from errors?
Links- Do all the links work? Once you know how to research use skimming, scanning & note taking techniques to become more efficient... Task Study Skills Having a better understanding of all areas of study skills will have a positive impact on your approach to work and in turn your success! You may of had marks in the past which did not reflect your effort- this may be due to
a need to improve some areas of study rather than a lack of knowledge or competence.
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