Before you start researching there are a few things to do:• Narrow down your topic. (try a graphic organizer!!)• decide if you are going to have subtopics.• think about your background information• decide what kind of information that you need.• decide what kind of sources you are going to use. (or your teacher tells you that you must)
In the library: On the Computer:•Encyclopedia •Databases•Non-fiction books •Websites•Fiction books •On-line news sources•Magazines •Blogs•Journals •Wikis
1. Choose a search engine***Remember Google is only one of manysearch engines. Other engines may do abetter job, depending on what type ofmaterials you are searching for.But…What is a search Engine?
• A search engine uses algorithms (kind of like math equations) to search the world wide web to find websites that match the search terms that you have input.• They find sites that are the most popular or in which the search term is most often repeated. THEY DO NOT GIVE YOU THE “BEST” SITES, OR THE MOST ACCURATE AND RELIABLE SITES.• Companies pay web designers called “Search Engine Optimizers” to write there websites so that they will show up at the top of Google’s search results list.
•Web searches on Google or other search engines search only FREE resources on the World Wide Web…•And usually you get what you pay for!!!!•So how can you get the best out of your internet research???
BOOLEAN SEARCHING•Use words like and, or, and not to help narrow down your search. (or +,-)Ex. Search for cancer + symptoms•Use quotation marks to help find specific phrases on a website.Ex. "cancer symptoms”
Each search engine uses differentalgorithms and so may find different sites.Ex. Bing, Yahoo, Ask JeevesUse a metasearch engineThey search more than one search engineat a time.Ex: WebCrawler or dogpile
Your search gave you many hits howdo you know which one to choose,which is the best? Which is good?Which are reliable, safe, andappropriate?Consider the following website:•www.dhmo.org
• List five Characteristics of Dihydrogen Monoxide.• What are some risks associated with Dihydrogen Monoxide?• What is its relation to Cancer?• Should DHMO be a banned substance?• Should it require special training to handle and transport?• What would you do about DHMO?• What does the US Environmental Protection Agency think of DHMO?
Critically analyze your search results,the first site isn’t always the bestchoice.Ask yourself some questions:
1.Who wrote this site? Who sponsors it?2.What information is relevant to your research question?3.When was the website created?4.Why was the information published?
•Who is the author? o Is it clear who wrote it? o Is the author qualified to be publishing the information? o Do they provide contact information?•Who sponsors the website? o Is it clear who is sponsoring the site? o Is there a link or info about why they are sponsoring it?
•Is the information true based on what you already know?•Is it a not-for profit site? (-.org, .co., .edu…)•Is the information comparable to other websites?
•Is the site outdated?•Are the dates of the statistics andgraphs etc. clearly marked?•Has it been updated?
• Is the point of the website to provide true information?• Is it a public service or a profit making site?•Is there advertising? Is the advertising separate from the content of the page?And another big question:•IS THERE BIAS?
Of course whatever sources you use you will have to acknowledge. If you don’t it’s plagiarism.Avoid plagiarism by using direct quotations, writing in your own words (paraphrasing) , and Use a bibliography to credit your sources!!
As you work record your sources on a graphicorganizer called: Works Cited Frame (available inthe library by the computers) to record all theinformation you will need.Use the website “Citation Machine”http://www.citationmachine.net/ to help createyour bibliography. The link can be found on ourlibrary’s Destiny page. For more information askyour teacher or your Librarian.
Board of School Trustees, School District44. Web in the classroom. North Vancouver:Tora Design Group, 2004. 173. Print.Way, Tom. "Dihydrogen Monoxide."Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division -Dihydrogen Monoxide Info. Web. 08 Mar.2011. <http://www.dhmo.org/>.