Hints for Research Success!

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Hints for Research Success!

  1. 1. GATEWAY COMMUNITY COLLEGE LIBRARY HINTS FOR RESEARCH SUCCESS!
  2. 2. BEFORE YOU START (Things to think about!) How LONG should the paper/speech be?  How many SOURCES do I have to include?  What TYPES of sources can I/must I use?  How much TIME do I have?  What STYLE MANUAL should I use for my  “Works Cited” page?
  3. 3. Choosing a topic Think about your INTERESTS.  Look through SUBJECT  ENCYCLOPEDIAS, NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES, INTERNET. Browse the library SHELVES and  CATALOG. Look for type, quantity and format of  information.
  4. 4. Background Reading Choose KEYWORDS to use in searches.  Identify concepts, people, dates.  Use online database subject lists and  indexes to reference books to find RELATED TERMS. Work from the GENERAL to the  SPECIFIC.
  5. 5. Thesis Statement Statement of OPINION:  “Garlic is good for your health.” Question:  “Will garlic ruin your social life?”
  6. 6. Background Material REFERENCE Books  CIRCULATING Books  INTERNET Sites  .com = commercial site .org = nonprofit organization .gov = government site .edu = educational site
  7. 7. Find Current Information Online DATABASES.  GENERAL and SUBJECT specific. Popular MAGAZINES  Professional (“refereed”) JOURNALS.  TRADE journals  Newspapers 
  8. 8. EVALUATE PRINTED INFORMATION Who is the AUTHOR?  What is the PURPOSE?  What SOURCES are cited?  WHEN was the information published or  updated? ACCURATE statistics? 
  9. 9. EVALUATE WEBSITES Note URL, HEADER, BODY, FOOTER  TYPE of page: Personal, Informational, News,  Advocacy. AUTHORITY: Who wrote it? Domain?  Sponsoring organization? CONTENT: Philosophy, fact, opinion, links,  sources cited? DATE: Statistics, accuracy. 
  10. 10. Organize Your Information Make an OUTLINE.  Thesis statement.  DEFINITIONS, history of topic,  background. PROBLEMS, controversial issues.  CURRENT information  Wrap-up 
  11. 11. Cite your sources! Style manual – MLA, APA  The “P” word. 
  12. 12. SUMMARY Choose a topic – broaden or narrow  Make an outline!  Define your topic  History/Background  Key words and names  Thesis statement  Current journal/magazine articles & websites  Wrap-up 
  13. 13. THE FINISHED PRODUCT LIBRARIANS: The ultimate search  engine! GOOD LUCK! 

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