Research Strategy Develop a research question Think of keywords Choose a resource to search Look for information Read Evaluate the information you find Modify your search Take notes Cite sources
DEVELOP A RESEARCH QUESTION
A good way to begin your research is to locate and read short articles that will give you a broad overview of a topic. You can find these articles in a variety of reference materials.
Browse books, articles, web sites, and course textbooks
Watch/read the news
Browse through encyclopedias
Specialized/Subject Specific Dictionaries
Develop a research question
THINK OF KEYWORDS
What is a keyword? A keyword is any searchable word in an online record.
State your topic as a question.
Determine what words best describe your topic.
How did New Deal programs influence the arts in America?
Federal Aid to the Arts
Think of key words Think of keywords
CHOOSE A RESOURCE TO SEARCH
Depending on your topic, different types of resources (the web, newspapers, magazines, journals, books, etc.) may be more appropriate than others. You need to be aware of what kind of information is in each type of resource and who is the intended audience.
Choose a resource to search The New York Times; Washington Post; Wall Street Journal General public 1 day - 1 week after the event Newspapers Time; Newsweek; National Geographic General public 1 week - 1 month after the event Popular Magazines Journal of Child Development; Radical pedagogy, etc. Scholars, researchers, and students Several months – years after the event Scholarly journals Dictionary of Art; World Book Encyclopedia; World Almanac General public, specialists Several months – years after the event Reference Sources Negotiating ethnicities in China and Taiwan; The Press of Ideas; Women & Art General public - scholars, researchers, and students At least 1 year – several years after the event Books Examples: Audience Time frame CNN, Entertainment weekly, Amer. Med. Asn General public - scholars, researchers, and students Immediate 7 yrs Web
Research Strategy LOOK FOR INFORMATION Begin your search by looking at these various resources. Look for information Books, journal articles, reports, statistics Government Documents A criticism of a book or article. Book reviews can be found in Choice; Library Journal; Publisher’s Weekly, etc. Book reviews A list of resources about a particular topic. Bibliographies can be found in books and journal articles. Bibliographies CUNY+ catalog; WorldCat database Articles in Books CCNY Libraries – Databases A-Z EBSCOHOST, Lexis-Nexis, New York Times Historical Newspaper articles CCNY Library – Databases A-Z Journals, magazines CUNY+ catalog; Public library catalogs; WorldCat database Books
READ & EVAULATE THE INFORMATION YOU FIND
Quantity - Enough resources are needed to support your argument.
Diversity - Variety is necessary. Include many different resources.
D ate of Publication - When was the source published?
Quality and Reliability -
What is the purpose of the publication?
What is the author saying?
What are the author’s conclusions?
Does the author agree or disagree with other authors who have written on the same subject?
Read Evaluate the information you find
MODIFY YOUR SEARCH
Make sure that the topic you have chosen is not too big.
Narrow your topic and focus on an aspect of the subject that interests you.
Write your topic down as a clear statement will to help guide you during your research.
Modify your search
Skim through your books and articles to get the main ideas.
Make notes of the important points.
Use index card system for recording notes.
Be sure to put the page number and author of the source on each note card.
When you are taking notes, try to make them as short as possible.
Record facts that refute your thesis as well as support it.
Whenever you quote, paraphrase, summarize, or otherwise refer to the work of another, you are required to cite its source, either by way of parenthetical documentation or by means of a footnote. Offered here are some of the most commonly cited forms of material.
MLA Style: Documenting Sources from the World Wide Web by the Modern Language Association of America
Electronic Reference Formats Recommended by the American Psychological Association by the APA
Online! Citation Styles by A. Harnack and E. Kleppinger
Internet Citation Guides Ref Works – creates bibliographies from exported citations
Questions? Visit the Reference Desk on the 2 nd Floor and speak to any librarian.