2012 how to conduct research (updated 21 feb 2012)
SWSi LibrariesThe Research Process Version 2 – 21 February 2012
Research “work that is done to investigate something; to investigate a field of study and discover new facts about it”Dictionary of Information and LibraryManagement,2006 A&C Black Publishers, London
Select a general topic• Choose a topic that interests you• Talk to teachers and others if you get stuck choosing a topic.
Get an overview of the topic • Go to an encyclopaedia or another reference source to get an overview of the topic.
List key words• These words will help you look up information on the topic.• Use a thesaurus if necessary.• Brainstorm key words with other staff, family and friends.
Make a source card / page• Write down all resources you will use or you have used for information.• For online resources, as they are found print the 1st page of the site.• Do this as you go along, it will save time at the end.
Focus the topic/Write a statement of purpose or question• Write a statement of purpose or question about the focused topic. This is what you will be answering in your assignment
Use a range of resources• Print• Online – including YouTube, TeacherTube• Databases• Audio-Visual• eBooks
Evaluate what you find• Evaluate the quality and usefulness of the information.• Relevance – significant to your topic• Currency – how old is an article• Authority – who wrote or published the article• Reliability – general or academic information
Use catalogues• Use library catalogues to find libraryresources, such as printmaterial, eBooks and DVDs
Use databases• Log onto the library databases to find journal, magazine and newspaper articles. These articles can be printed, emailed or saved
Find internet resources• Use search engines. Check to see if your class has a bibliography or Studylinks created by librarians.• Finding information on the internet tutorial: the Internet Detective
Write your paper• Do not copy, unless you are quoting – it’s plagiarism
Write a bibliography• Give credit where credit is due; cite your sources.• Using the source cards/ paper which you started at the beginning of your research.• Use a standard referencing format, ask library staff for a loan of a guide
Evaluate your work• Re-read it. Does it make sense? Can you see any spelling mistakes ?• Get a family member or a friend to read it, does it make sense to them?
Celebrate!• When you’re finished, relax. See a movie, catch up with family or do the ironing!
Bibliography for this presentation• Cornell University, 2004, Critically Analyzing Information Sources, viewed 18 June 2009 <http://www.library.cornell.edu/olinuris/ref/research/skill26.htm>• Intute Virtual Training Suite, 2008, Internet Detective, viewed 18 June 2009 <http://www.vts.intute.ac.uk/detective/index.html>• The Learning Centre, UNSW, 2005, Avoiding Plagiarism, viewed 18 June 2009 <http://www.lc.unsw.edu.au/onlib/plag.html>• The Learning Centre, UNSW, 2005, Harvard Referencing, viewed 18 June 2009 <http://www.lc.unsw.edu.au/onlib/ref2.html>• NSW Department of Education & Training, 2009, Tafe Studylinks, viewed 18 June 2009 <https://www.tafensw.edu.au/library/studylinks/>• NSW Department of Education & Training, 2009, SWSI Library website, viewed 2 July 2009 <http://www.swsi.tafensw.edu.au/students/library/library_overview.aspx>• PMgD, 2007, Extreme Ironing, viewed 18 June 2009 <http://pmgd.wordpress.com/2007/05/07/extreme-ironing/>• TeacherTube, 2009, viewed 2 July 2009 <http://teachertube.com/>• YouTube, 2009, viewed 2 July 2009 <http://www.youtube.com/>
Need further assistance?You can book in for a personal Research Skills session, just talk to the Professional Library StaffRemember to keep up-to-date with what’s happening at your library