Research

By: Emily Williamson

How to Find Good Resources

You can use databases to find relevant information to your topic. You can also use them to find relevant websites that will help you get the information that you need. Some examples of good databases are...

http://search.ebscohost.com

and

http://library.eb.com.proxy.mcpl.lib.mo.us/levels/children

Other Mid-Continent Public Library Resources

To access, use this library card number (no spaces)

Only needed if you start by going through the Mid Continent website.


2000 500 114 9413


- http://web.a.ebscohost.com.proxy.mcpl.lib.mo.us/web/ehk5/home

- http://web.a.ebscohost.com.proxy.mcpl.lib.mo.us/

- http://go.galegroup.com.proxy.mcpl.lib.mo.us/

- http://www.worldbookonline.com.proxy.mcpl.lib.mo.us/

Using Keywords While Searching

Most databases and research websites have an advanced search. This is where you can put in the keywords that relate to your topic to help you narrow down the search. Websites such as Explora, when you get there, will have the regular search bar and you can have the option of the advanced search as well.


The keywords that you will use really depend on what your topic is. For example, lets say that my topic is sharks, if you just type that, you will get thousands of results. But if you type in something more specific like 'What do sharks eat?' or 'What kinds of sharks live in the Atlantic Ocean?', it will narrow your search down to were you may only have to go through 3 or 4 websites to get all of the answers to your information.


*The words in bold are the keywords that are in the questions*

Credibility and Accuracy

To get accurate information for your topic, you have to pick websites that are credible and up to date. To determine weather a website is credible of not, you can scroll to the bottom of the webpage and there should be contact information, copyright information, and the date that it was last updated. Also you can look at the web address, if it has '.com', then I would be cautious. If has '.gov' or '.org', then they are most likely credible because they are manged either by the government or an organization. If the website doesn't have this information, then it most likely isn't a credible source. If it does have this information and it is all up to date, it is most likely to be a credible source.

Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summerizing

Quoting - This is when you are taking someone's exact words and using them in your writing or presentation. To be able to quote, you have to be sure to put quotation marks around the sentence or phrase that took from the article or other piece of writing. You also have to give credit to the quote! If you don't do this, then it is like you are stealing other peoples' thoughts or ideas without permission.


Ex: Lets say that my topic is Abraham Lincoln, if I were to quote something from an article, this is how you would do it...


"Born on Feb. 12, 1809, in a log cabin in backwoods Hardin co., Ky. (now Larue co.), he grew up on newly broken pioneer farms of the frontier." - Abraham Lincoln, Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition, Explora


Paraphrasing - This is when you are taking a phrase or quote and rewriting it with YOUR OWN WORDS! Sometimes this can be hard because if you use any of the same key words then you are NOT paraphrasing, you are stealing the author of the quotes thoughts! To paraphrase, you have to alter the thought and rework the idea around in your head to make it so you are not stealing anyone's ideas.


Ex: Original Sentence- Little is known of his mother, Nancy Hanks, who died in 1818, not long after the family had settled in the wilds of what is now Spencer co., Ind. Thomas Lincoln soon afterward married Sarah Bush Johnston, a widow; she was a kind and affectionate stepmother to the boy.

Paraphrasing- After Abraham Lincoln's mother passed in 1818, his father remarried to a women named Sarah Bush Johnston, who turned out to become a good stepmother as Abraham grew up.


Summarizing - This is when you are giving a short description to something that you read. This means that you still can't use the author's ideas, you have to rework the article you read into short paragraph that covers all of the main points in the paper.


Ex: Original Paragraph-Born on Feb. 12, 1809, in a log cabin in backwoods Hardin co., Ky. (now Larue co.), he grew up on newly broken pioneer farms of the frontier. His father, Thomas Lincoln, was a migratory carpenter and farmer, nearly always poverty-stricken. Little is known of his mother, Nancy Hanks, who died in 1818, not long after the family had settled in the wilds of what is now Spencer co., Ind. Thomas Lincoln soon afterward married Sarah Bush Johnston, a widow; she was a kind and affectionate stepmother to the boy. Abraham had almost no formal schooling—the scattered weeks of school attendance in Kentucky and Indiana amounted to less than a year; but he taught himself, reading and rereading a small stock of books. His first glimpse of the wider world came in a voyage downriver to New Orleans on a flatboat in 1828, but little is known of that journey. In 1830 the Lincolns moved once more, this time to Macon co., Ill.

Summarized Paragraph- Abraham Lincoln was born in Harden County, Kentucky on February 12, 1809. His father worked as a carpenter and also as a farmer. His mother died when Abraham was 9, and not much was ever really known about her. Though shortly after his mother's passing, his father remarried to a women named Sarah Bush Johnston. He mostly taught himself how to read, because he hadn't had much formal schooling between moving from Kentucky to Indiana.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is when you are taking other peoples' ideas and calling them your own. This happens when you are reading an article and are using sentences directly out of it without giving credit to the author of the article.

How do you avoid plagiarism?

To avoid plagiarism, you have to use quotation marks when quoting ANYTHING! Also another easy way to avoid it is to just give credit to the author of the article that you are reading. To avoid plagiarism you can also paraphrase, but make sure that you don't use any of the same main key words from the original phrase or sentence that you are paraphrasing.

MLA Citations

An MLA citation is a certain format of a citation. It is the one format that most people use when giving credit to the sources that they used in their project.


In Text Citations - This is when you insert the citation in the middle of you paragraph or paper. You do this mostly when you are giving credit to a quote that is in your paper.


Works Cited Page - You should have one of these at the end of every project or paper that you make or write. This is where you are giving credit to all of the sources that you used while making or writing your project or paper. If you don't give credit, it is considered plagiarism.

Citations (MLA Format)

  • "Abraham Lincoln." Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6Th Edition (2015): 1. Middle Search Plus. Web. 11 Oct. 2015.
  • "Education World ® - Student Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism." Education World ® - Student Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2015. <http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/TM/curr390_guide.shtml>.


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