English 101 – Curington June 23, 2011 How to ResearchBy Gina Singh
Research Sources SEARCH TOOL: LIBRARY CATALOG ENCYCLOPEDIAS Provide short entries/articles for an overview of the topic and its main ideas . SEARCH TOOL: PERIODICAL DATABASE BOOKS Give more information for an in-depth exploration of one or more aspects of the topic. (Example: Case study books, textbooks) JOURNAL ARTICLES Lengthy scholarly research studies on an extremely focused aspect of a subject.
Research Sources SEARCH TOOL: PERIODICAL DATABASE NEWSPAPER ARTICLES Very brief news reports that focus on current events or topics currently in the news. MAGAZINE ARTICLES As short as encyclopedia articles, but instead of an overview, magazines narrow the focus to one or two specific aspects of a topic.
Types of Resources Scholarly Sources It has abstract in the beginning It may have a list of keyword Article has a research problem Mentions studies that have addressed the problem in the past Has a purpose statement Has research question and hypothesis Uses qualitative, quantitative or mixed method approach to conduct research Has a conclusion at the end Has a bibliography or reference list at the end Popular Sources: Magazine articles like Style, Newsweek, Time etc. Newspaper sources: LA Times, Whittier Daily News etc. Primary Sources: Original writings created at the time when the event occurred. Secondary Sources: Sources that evaluate, summarize, analyze written by experts from that field after the event has occurred. Source: http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/rusa/sections/history/resources/pubs/usingprimarysources/index.cfm
Magazines vs. Scholarly Journals Magazines Audience: Large group of people Brief, non-technical language Author is journalist or freelance writer Look: Graphics, images, advertising No references Examples: Cosmopolitan, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated etc. Scholarly Journals Audience: Experts in the field, students Lengthy, technical language Author are experts in the field & credentials are always listed Peer-reviewed Look: Graphs, charts, statistical data, plain cover References at the end Examples: Child Development, Social Science Quarterly, Journal of Applied Psychology etc.
Background Research Background research is needed to understand your topic and narrow it down. Research Source: Encyclopedias like World Book Encyclopedia (in the library) and eBooks like Encyclopedia Britannica and Gale Virtual Reference Library for reference books online. Go to Research Paper Topics on library homepage for topic selection Go to The Research Paper: Ten Steps to Researching it Right for additional help. Check out Library Catalog for books on topics for research papers. Is the information relevant? Identify search terms Is the information from a legitimate source?
Additional Help For more on primary & secondary sources: http://lib1.bmcc.cuny.edu/help/sources.html Spotting Bias in news: http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/resources/educational/handouts/broadcast_news/bw_bias_in_the_news.cfm Tania Shabelnik Libguide: http://libguides.riohondo.edu/evaluatingwebsites
Narrow Your Topic Who? What? Which? When? Where? Why? Source: OSU Tutorial from liblearn.osu.edu/courses/english110/old%20stuff/narrow_topic.ppt
Example Topic : Cheating Who? : Age; Race; Gender What? : Types: Infidelity; students: Sports, plagiarism; government Which? : Is justified? Or worse? Or Traumatizing? When? : Time period: Current, historical or period of life? Where? : Place: College, school, home, work, in sports Why? : Evaluate: Causes & Reasons and Results & Outcomes.
Research Question Mix and Match two elements together and form a research question and form a topic of your choice. Read the requirements of the assignment: How many pages? How many sources are required? What kind of sources are required? What are the search terms and related terms that you would use? For example: Cheating: Dishonesty, fraud, deception, infidelity, lying, embezzle etc.
Two Search Tools to Find Good Sources PROQUEST RESEARCH LIBRARY (Journal Articles) LIBRARY CATALOG (Books)
Start Research from the library homepage FIND BOOKS FIND JOURNAL, MAGAZINE, AND NEWSPAPER ARTICLES FIND CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS
Checklist for Evaluating Websites Author: Credentials & professional affiliations, contact address, about link Check the URL (Uniform Resource Locator or website address) because it may be the name & type of organization sponsoring the webpage. E.g. .edu, .com, .gov, .net etc. Reason for webpage: Its purpose Determine the origin of the document Timeframe: Current or past view. What time period does your topic require? Objectivity : Point of View or Bias Bibliography: Citations and references to other sources Coverage: Relevance to the assignment. Is the source too narrow? Too broad? Can you understand it? Format, Organization, Appearance: Is it Easy to read? Source: http://libguides.uwb.edu/content.php?pid=103537&sid=778496 Source: http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/rusa/sections/history/resources/pubs/usingprimarysources/index.cfm#evaluating
Where to Search? For Books: Library Catalog http://library.riohondo.edu/ For Scholarly Articles: Databases: Proquest, Gale Reference Library. Off Campus Users: Access Rio For Controversial Topics: Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context, Issues and Controversies Check out Controversial Topics Books Link on the library homepage http://library.riohondo.edu/ For Current Issues: CQ Researcher, Proquest, Gale Opposing Viewpoints, Issues and Controversies For Biographies: Gale Biography in Context For Historical Books : Google Books at http://books.google.com/ For Historical Newspapers: Google News Archives Search at http://news.google.com/archivesearch For Statistics data & charts: Social Science Database For Population Stats: US Census Bureau database Legitimate sources: Google Books, Google Scholar For Periodical Holdings List: Access from our library homepage. Direct url at http://library.riohondo.edu/Research_Help/Periodical%20Holdings%20List%20-%202010-2011.pdf (Check out the listings by subject in the end).
Acknowledgements Thank you Stephanie Wells (Librarian) for sharing some of her slides.