Intro to Research
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Get Ready For....
- Search Engines
- Should I Use Wikipedia?
- Boolean Search
- Citation Tools
Let's Start With What You Know
Most Well Known
Beware the echo chamber...use private search.
Designed for Students
Results are supposed to be selected by educators, librarians and researchers.
Google's Biggest Competitor
Owned by Microsoft; said to have faster search function and weed out irrelevant results.
Search engines ARE NOT DATABASES - they are only indexes of the web!
How Do You Know?
What's real? What's Fake? Some 82% of middle-schoolers couldn’t distinguish between an ad labeled “sponsored content” and a real news story on a website. ~ WSJ 11/21/16
Start at Wikipedia...SERIOUSLY!
Never use Wikipedia as a citation in your academic work; USE WIKIPEDIA to get a basic understanding and to learn key words and topics related to your research.
Start with a blank sheet and put your subject in the middle.
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Read the Wiki Page
Fill in around the subject with words and terms used to describe your topic; include the words used in the links.
DATABASES ARE THE PREFERRED RESEARCH TOOL FOR ACADEMIC RESEARCH & PROJECTS
- Access to published, reliable information.
- You still have to evaluate information found in databases to identify bias and opinion.
1. Go to the database
Explora is the Preferred Database for SFC - ACCESS THROUGH SCHOOLOGY LIBRARY GROUP
- FULL TEXT DATABASE
- DESIGNED FOR GRADES 8-12
>>>On the left side select "Resources"
>>>Scroll down and Select "Databases" 2x
2. Search the database
- Start with a general search and then narrow down using an advanced search
3. Look at your results
Database results are "tagged" for keywords & subjects - just like Twitter & Instagram
- keyword = title, article, subject
- subject = tagged article
4a. Look at your results
- Biographies provide reference (encyclopedia) type information
- *Magazines* provide all types (opinion, informative, persuasive, etc) articles. They've been published in "reliable" resources and target general audiences (no expertise needed)
- Books provided by databases are usually chapters or sections from textbooks or reference materials
- Reviews are published reviews of books specific to the topic
- *Academic Journals* are peer-reviewed (someone has fact-checked the information) magazines that focus on a specific area study
- *News* are articles printed from national and world-wide newspaper organizations and news services; the results can include news, opinion, op-ed, persuasive types of articles
- Encyclopedias results come from general and specialized encyclopedias
4b. Narrow your results
You can limit your results by:
- source type
- lexile (reading level)
5. Skim & Scan for Relevance
- Database decides what is "Relevant" - use your brain to decide
- Source of publication (do a Google Search if you don't know what it is)
- Date of publication
- READ - title, summary, tags ... is this the direction you want to go?
- OPEN the article and read the first few paragraphs - these are non-fiction, you will generally know if the intent of the article is useful for your project.
5b. Smash & Grab vs. Slow Thinking
- Smash & Grab = Save, download, email as many sources that you "think" will be useful by reading title, subject tags, first few paragraphs. Go back later and read article for information. Good because you get a lot of resources (especially if you don't have internet at home); Bad because you have a bunch of resources you try to link together - may not get the information you want.
- Slow Thinking = Read each resource as you go along. Good because it allows time to determine usefulness & relevancy; Bad (for some students) because it gives the appearance that you aren't making progress, that others may be ahead of you.
Whatever your method....you have to READ! DO THE WORK!!!
5c. SAVE YOUR WORK!!!!
6.It's not about GOOD VS BAD resources, it's about RELEVANT & USEFUL resources
Context & Authority
Contextsetting, circumstances, conditions
specialist, knowledge, experience