Library web site is crucial starting point. Take a look for an overview of library services and collections.
Sure, you might know the difference between a magazine and a journal, but what if the visual cues are not there? What if you are only looking at an electronic version of the article?
Important differences between Magazine & Journal to remember when using electronic sources, since the visual cues are not there, only text. Link to ProQuest: search on American Revolution– show tabs for scholarly, magazine, newspaper, etc.
Choosing a Topic• Clarify your assignment• Use idea books to find a topic of interest• Ask a librarian for guidance• Pick something of interest to you• Do a literature review to see how much information is available
Develop a Strategy• Jot down an outline of your thesis and supporting points• Take notes from sources that support your thesis and fit your outline• Diagram
Finding Sources• Library Web Page – Books & E-Books – Articles & Databases – Web Sites• Other libraries• Societies, associations
Evaluating Sources• Different Types of Sources – Popular vs Scholarly – Primary vs Secondary• “4 Cs” of Evaluating Sources
Popular: Magazine• Secondary source• By reporters for general audience• “Eye candy”• Little or no documentation• Advertisements
Scholarly: Journal• Primary source• By scientists for scientists• Jargon, tables, text• References & footnotes
Primary Source• Author as direct participant/observer of research project or event• Raw data• Evidence without interpretation or analysis beyond that provided by observer• Examples: diaries, letters, journals, surveys, autobiographies, statistics, court records Source: Bolner, Research Process, p. 54-55
Secondary Source• Analysis, interpretation, explanation, or restatement of a primary source• Often use primary sources to prove a point or persuade reader of a certain opinion• Examples: dictionaries, encyclopedias, textbooks, and books and articles that interpret or review research works Source: Bolner, Research Process, p. 55
“4 Cs” of Evaluating Sources• Content• Credibility• Currency• Clarity
Documenting Sources: MLAMLA Handbook forWriters of ResearchPapers6th editionBy Joseph Gibaldi
Sample Book CitationAuthor. Title. Place of Publication: Publisher, Date of Publication.Hacker, Diana. Research and Documentation in the Electronic Age. 3rd ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2002.
Documenting Sources: HackerResearch and Documentation in the Electro3rd EditionBy Diana Hacker
Research Assistance • Ask a librarian for assistance • Use handbooks to learn about doing research
Works Cited TodayBolner, Myrtle S. and Gale A. Poirer. The Research Process: Books and Beyond. 2nd ed, rev. printing. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt, 2002.Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th ed. New York: Modern Language Association, 2003.Hacker, Diana. Research and Documentation in the Electronic Age. 3rd ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2002.