How to Research Effectivly

by Joe Schmidt

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Thanks, Mrs.Sickel

P.S. It is Brandon's birthday 10/4/2016

How to Cite a Source

Some things you need to know about citing is that the most important thing when it comes to giving a citation is the authors name. However, there is a lot more than just that.

Other things you would need to include would be the name of the article, and the date this article was last dated or published. There are some other things to include with specific documents but these rules would be the basics.

Also, when you are quoting someone, here are some grammatical rules:

-Use "" marks and put your text in between the two of these.

-When you write your quote, you want a comma(,)before and after the quotation marks. However, you don't put the comma before the marks if the quote is the beginning of a sentence.

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What Is a "MLA" Citation?

An MLA or Modern Language Association is a citation that gives you just what is says up above in my Smore. It gives you your entire citation, word for word. However, the only restriction is that there is only certain databases or search engines that give you the citation without you having to go find it with all the information of the page.

Where to Give Citations

Lots of the time in the past when you are writing an essay or making a presentation, you would put a slide or some credit page at the end. Good job but there is something that is a bit more effective called "in-text citations". This method puts the citation right after something is quoted.

A Lesson in Plagarism

When you are plagiarizing, it means that you are taking another work and crediting it as your own. A way to avoid this is by simply paraphrasing or my personal favorite, quoting! This doesn't completely give credit though, you still need to cite your source because the idea from the author is still being used in your writing.

What's the Difference Between Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing?

This bit of my Smore will talk about what is the difference between these three things. These are all ways of putting what another author wrote or said into your writing. A quote is when you take the exact words from someone else and cite them. Although there are different types of quotes you can use. These are:

Direct Quote-When you take the exact words of the other person and don't change even the punctuation.

Indirect Quote-When you use the authors words but not their exact words. One thing that you have to remember when putting a indirect quote in your writing is that you have to still use his/her words and modify them but still keep the central ideas and thoughts on the quote.

Next is a paraphrase. This is, in a way, like an indirect quote but you can modify a bit more. This to me is also a bit harder than quoting or summarizing. When you paraphrase, you take the authors word(s) and put them in your own. Although you still have to give credit.

Lastly is summarizing. This is what you have probably been taught since second grade. Summarizing is like it sounds, you sum up the main points of the article and shove them into some sort of short sentences based on how many parts you have to include in your summary.

What's the Difference Between Citations and Quotes?

You may be confused what difference is so far through the article. The difference is that a citation is actually giving credit to the author. This is not the words the author said but rather his actual name and anything else to credit him like the name of the article and the date it was published. A quote is what he actually said inside the quotation marks.

Is this Website Credible?

There are a few ways that you can classify a source as reliable. The first thing that crosses my mind when rating a source; Does the info actually seem accurate? What I mean is if there is info that will actually help you. The next thing that I look for is if the information is current. Generally, at the bottom of every website or at the back of every book is some sort of date. If this was written five years in the past, most likely the info is what I like to call stale. A few other important things too look for is:

-What is the Domain (.com/.edu/.biz/.gov/.org/.net)?

-Is it professional writing? (Grammar, Writing seems authentic)

-Is it a forum where multiple people comment or an article with one author?

-Is it trying to make you think a certain way or is it informational?

Using Key-Words

When you are searching something with Google, I assume that most of us would just type in your entire question like "When was Abraham Lincoln born?". That is the number one thing that you DO NOT want to do! What you want to do is instead of typing in the entire question, instead, you want to pick out the most important words of the sentence and throw out the rest. What you would want to type in to the search would be "Abraham Lincoln Birth".

That way the search engine that you are using doesn't search for every single word meaning that any website with the word "when" will show up as a result. I'm sure we don't want those 3 million extra results that pop-up on the search page. I assume I am correct?Some excellent sources to search with these key words out of your question are shown below. With these websites, you really can't type any part of the question that is not a key part/word or there will be no search results and you will be left going,"WHY ARE THERE NO SEARCH RESULTS!!!".

How to Find the Right Information

First off, the number one thing that you want to search with is key words. They eliminate a lot of unwanted search results. The previous section talk's about using these. Next thing is that you, when skimming through the information, look for "treasure" words. These are the words that really do help you when trying to answer your research questions.

Credible Databases

Some really great websites to find the info for any informational project can be found at these example websites:
CIA World Factbook

Any numerical facts and trivia.

Ducksters

Famous People

Ebsco Host (Database)

May take a while to load.

Info Please

Dictionary, Encyclopedia, Thesaurus, Etc.