Academic Research Strategies


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Academic Research Strategies
How do I effectively & efficiently do academic research & navigate the college's online library?
This workshop will introduce you to the principles of academic research & show you how to best use the ESC Library resources to find sources & cite
them in your academic papers.

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Academic Research Strategies

  1. 1. Introduction to Library Research Skills Using the Empire State College Online Library to Research & Evaluate Information Sources
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>The Steps in Conducting Academic Research </li></ul><ul><li>Using The ESC Library </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluating Sources </li></ul>
  3. 3. Steps to Conducting Academic Research <ul><li>Step 1 – Clarify the Assignment </li></ul><ul><li>Step 2 – Develop Research Question/Thesis </li></ul><ul><li>Step 3 - Identify Keywords </li></ul><ul><li>Step 4 – Understand Basic Search Techniques </li></ul><ul><li>Step 5 – Begin Research Process </li></ul>
  4. 4. Step 1 – Clarify Assignment <ul><li>Is topic specified? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider the … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>question(s) you are asked to address/create </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>discipline through which you are approaching the topic </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>specific thing(s) you already know/want to know about the topic </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>What are the basic requirements? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Length of paper required? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Audience for your research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time you have available to research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What citation format is required? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>MLA – Modern Language Association </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Used in the Humanities </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>APA - American Psychological Association </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Used in the Social Sciences </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Ask your instructor any questions you may have </li></ul><ul><li>at beginning of process! </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>THOROUGHLY UNDERSTAND YOUR TOPIC! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Know what you are being asked/what you must address </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What interests you the most about the topic? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make a listing of questions you would like to have answered about the topic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What would capture the interest of the reader? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pick issue that can be researched </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure topic is not too broad nor narrow in scope </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Resources: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>WORKSHEET </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information Literacy– Designing Research Question </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> - Go to the “Research Room” </li></ul></ul>Step 2 – Develop Research Question/Thesis
  6. 6. Step 3: Identify Keywords <ul><li>Keywords : Any informative words in the text of a document, chosen as indicating the main content of the document. </li></ul><ul><li>CAUTION </li></ul><ul><li>Keywords and subjects are not the same. </li></ul><ul><li>Keywords are significant words from a document used as an index to content. </li></ul><ul><li>Subjects are the main focus of a work. Subject headings are assigned from standards created by catalogers. </li></ul><ul><li>Unless you know the word you are looking for is a subject heading, your search maybe unsuccessful. </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, it is a good practice to start with a keyword search!! </li></ul>
  7. 7. Step 4: Understand Basic Search Techniques <ul><li>“ Quotation Marks” & (Parenthesis) : allows for the search of groups of words occurring together </li></ul><ul><li>EXAMPLES </li></ul><ul><li>“ workplace literacy” </li></ul><ul><li>“ sleep deprivation” </li></ul>Combine Words and Phrases
  8. 8. <ul><li>Boolean Phrases </li></ul><ul><li>And = a grouping of two specific ideas (ex. Hurricane and Katrina) </li></ul><ul><li>Or = one idea or anther idea (ex. United states or America) </li></ul><ul><li>Not = Only one idea but not any other (ex. exercise not therapy) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Combine Words and Phrases Using Boolean Searching <ul><li>AND </li></ul>NOT OR Click here for a link to more information about this search technique Source of Pictures: ESC Library website
  10. 10. Use Truncation <ul><li>Truncation: to use a shortened form of a word to search for all alternate endings. </li></ul><ul><li>sleep* will result in </li></ul><ul><li>sleeping, sleepy, sleeps </li></ul><ul><li>depriv* will result in </li></ul><ul><li>deprived, deprives, deprivation </li></ul>
  11. 11. Step 3 – Begin Research Process <ul><li>WHAT TO USE -- ESC Online Library </li></ul><ul><ul><li> Click on My ESC, then Library and Learning Resources – go to Find Info Quick Start Tutorial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All Databases & Subject Guides </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provides links to all databases based on subject area </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>College recommended academic focus websites </li></ul></ul><ul><li>WHAT TO AVOID </li></ul><ul><ul><li>General Google searches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid certain “sources” i.e., Wickipedia, unsubstantiated sources such as blogs, statements from non-experts. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Using the ESC Online Library The Best Links for Conducting Your Research
  13. 13. WHAT DO I RESEARCH? <ul><li>Locate background information using summaries and overviews in &quot;reference&quot; materials. </li></ul><ul><li>Find books on your topic. </li></ul><ul><li>Use online database services to search for periodical articles using online indexes and abstracts. </li></ul><ul><li>Research your topic on the Internet using search engines and subject directories. </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate, document and organize your resources. </li></ul>
  14. 14. A great way to get a little more background on your topic that can help you to search.
  15. 16. Links to a comprehensive annotated listing of all the databases the library subscribes to – a one-stop-shopping site for your research. The 3 best databases are EBSCO, JSTOR & PROQUEST. EBSCOHost Here is where you start to find your research.
  16. 17. Best Search Sites to Go To <ul><li>Jstor – Most Academic </li></ul><ul><li>Ebsco – Combo Academic & Popular </li></ul><ul><li>Proquest – More popular & academic </li></ul>EBSCOHost  
  17. 18. The databases are listed in alphabetical order so you can find the databases that you are looking for
  18. 19. Before you can start your search EBSCO host will ask you to choose a data base before you can do your search. To start your search There are ways that you can refine your search.
  19. 20. Here are some ways you can refine your search Make sure your spelling is correct
  20. 21. Take advantage of the online e-books
  21. 22. Search like you would for a journal. You can also see if there is a book for you in print.
  22. 23. You must be create an account before you are able to save any e-books to your book shelve. For directions go to books, scroll down to ebarry and then click on here how to link. Once you have an account you can save any books that you want to use for your research.
  23. 24. Click on the book that you would like to read. Your login and password are required to access the book.
  24. 25. Under the Multimedia tab you can access pictures video and audio
  25. 27. For more specific information on MLA, APA or Chicago styles of citation Click the tabs. If you are not sure how to cite your papers this is a good reference to see how. Here is some resources to avoid plagiarism and to make sure credit is given when it is due.
  26. 28. Start to Read your book. Add to your book shelf and pick up where you left off later
  27. 29. If you need Help you can always ask a Librarian with the instant Chat or send them an e-mail or all by clicking on the Ask Librarian link. Other Useful information
  28. 30. For more help with the online library go to a workshops conducted through the library
  29. 31. What Additional Library Resources Do You Have Access To??? <ul><li>Academic Library Services </li></ul><ul><li>Public access to academic libraries will depend upon the nature of the institution (i.e., public university, private college, community college, etc.). Generally, you may be able to use materials within the library itself, but will not be able to borrow books or use interlibrary loan. Some institutions also restrict public access to certain times of the day, so it’s a good idea to call ahead. </li></ul><ul><li>If you use a library at a State University of New York (SUNY) or City University of New York (CUNY) institution, you will have partial access to the collection under the SUNY Open Access and CUNY library agreements. </li></ul><ul><li>Public Library Services </li></ul><ul><li>The major benefit is that you will have full access to library services in your city or county of residence. </li></ul><ul><li>As collections tend to support the general interest needs of its community, collections will be limited in the availability of &quot;scholarly&quot; materials. </li></ul><ul><li>Depending upon the size and funding of the library, interlibrary loan services may be available. </li></ul>