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Copy of conducting research
Transcript of Copy of conducting research
Identifying the RIGHT Source
Reliable vs. Unreliable Sources
How do you determine one from the other?
There is a ton of information available right at your fingertips! Being able to identify a reliable source from an unreliable one and to quickly recognize whether or not a source is applicable to your topic will save you a great deal of time and heartache!
Keeping Track of it All
SAVE PDFs: If a PDF of the article is available, go ahead and download it.
ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY: Even if you don't have to do an annotated bibliography for a class, they can be a really helpful resource.
Writing out summaries of the sources that you read will help you remember what was important and useful in each text.
WORKS CITED: If you think you are going to use an article, go ahead and type up the citation. That way it will be easier to find it later, and you won't have to do it later.
TYPING UP QUOTES: If you find a quote that you think you'll use, go ahead an write it down. Just be sure to copy the citation information too!
Articles from databases (like those subscribed to by our library)
Printed reference books
Most non-fiction printed books
Government and major organizations' websites
Who is the author?
- What else have they written?
- Are they respected in their field?
Who is the publisher?
- Is it a recognizable name?
- Is it a University Press?
When was it written?
- You can include older sources, but you also need to make sure that you are engaging in a current conversation.
Is the writing biased?
- Is it extremely opinionated?
- Is the author arguing for a sponsor or benefactor? (Who's paying for this?)
How to look at a lot of information in a little amount of time
Private and personal websites
Clearly biased printed materials
Popular culture printed texts
It's important that when you're using or quoting information that you are sure to use sources that are based on facts and reasearch and not on opinion.
TITLE - if the title of the article doesn't seem that useful, don't bother with it!
SKIMMING - If available, read the abstract to determine if the source is a good fit. If there is no abstract, try reading the first few paragraphs and the last few paragraphs of the source.
If it doesn't seem like it's going to fit your topic, don't waste your time reading it!
WORD SEARCH: If the article is on multiple topics and you're only writing about one of them, try doing a word search to skip to the information that you actually need.
If all of these seem to match your topic, THEN
read the whole article
. Don't quote from an article that you have not read in its entirety!
Shortcuts and Useful Tools
DATABASES: There are a lot of databases available online. We'll talk more about how to use these in just a second.
GOOGLE SCHOLAR: On Google, choose "more," then "scholar." (Or go to scholar.google.com) This search engine weeds out most of the unreliable sources.
GOOGLE BOOKS: Under "more" choose "books." (books.google.com) Here you can view many books in their entirety online.
WIKIPEDIA: DO NOT quote from Wikipedia directly! You can, however, use it as a launching point for your research. Check out the works cited at the bottom of the page to find some more reliable sources.
printed materials usually have to go through a long editing and fact-checking process. They are often seen by groups of editors and copy editors before they are published.
Watch out! Not all URLs that end in ".org" are actually legitimate organizations (try going to MartinLutherKing.org if you don't believe me - it's run by the KKK). Be sure to read carefully and critically before relying on ANY source.
In contrast to published materials, places like blogs, personal websites, and even Wikipedia have very little to no oversight. Anyone can type what they want and click "publish."
Ask yourself these questions as you read!
An abstract is a paragraph written by the author that summarizes their paper. They are very useful when determining to read a paper or not, but they should NEVER be quoted from or replace reading the actual essay.
As part of your student fees, you pay for access to many different and useful databases.
Don't forget about the "Discover" tab. It does a first-run search through many of the school's databases!
You can also search an individual database, like
Academic Search Complete
, for a more in-depth view of what research they offer.
When you search a database or use the Discover Tab, you will find a number of different kinds of sources...
Academic Journals are your best bet, and will be where most of your research comes from!
Books are reliable sources, but are often too long for a regular research paper.
References, like dictionaries and encyclopedias, are reliable, but don't usually contain much information.
"Periodical" means that the article comes from a newspaper or magazine. These fall in the grey area of reliability and are usually too "pop culture" for a serious research paper.
Watch out for "Reviews." They are writings about other people's writings. You should never quote from a review, but may be able to use it to find a helpful resource.
In the Discover Tab, you can limit your search parameters (like above) by choosing to limit to "
," and/or "
." You can also limit the years of publication (here I picked
) to make sure that your research is up-to-date.
You can find more information at the
Freshman English Research Guide
To get there from the Library's home page, click on the "Research Guides" tab, choose "English" from the drop-down menu, then select "Freshman English."
This guide includes tons of information and video on how to do research and use the library's resources!
:The Quiz. Episode 7.
1. Give one of the similarities between Adnan's case and Justin Wolfe's.
2. Is Dierdre, the lawyer, an optimist or a pessimist?
3. What is one hole in the case that the lawyers caught that Sarah Koenig did not?
4. If a good case has means, motive, and opportunity; which of these aspects did Dierdre think was missing from the prosecution's case?
5. How does Dierdre respond when Koenig says that she fears Adnan is a charismatic sociopath?
(1) What does the scanner smell like?
(2) What group does Dierdre and her team work for?
Scholarly / Academic Research
1.Peer Reviewed Journals
2. Books from
Many scholarly books contain a collection of essays that you can use individually, or you can cite a single chapter.
Getting an article from Google Scholar does NOT automatically make it a "scholarly article." More about this later...
Serial Quiz: Episode 8
1. Who is the focus of this episode?
2. Does Jim Trainum say the police work on the case was better, worse, or equal to other cases that he's seen?
3. Who does Sarah talk to at the beginning and end of the episode? (Their position, not names.)
4. What is one difference between Chris' story and Jay's?
5. What kind of evidence does Trainum say investigators try to avoid? (To which Sarah replies, "all facts are friendly.")
Extra credit: (1) What is Jay's punishment?
(2) What is Jay's girlfriend's name?