Embarking on a research journey

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Explains the process of doing research, including how to find and evaluate information, and how to manage your time and maximize your effort.

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Embarking on a research journey

  1. 1. What you really need to know to get started. *
  2. 2. * *Things to keep in mind before we dive in: *1. Research is a PROCESS, like a journey. *2. Every good journey requires planning. *3. There’s no shame in asking for directions when you get lost.
  3. 3. * *How to find and evaluate sources. *How to cite the sources you choose to use. *How to save yourself headaches later by doing things thoughtfully now (work smarter, not harder).
  4. 4. *
  5. 5. * *POP QUIZ! *What makes a source primary? *A. It is not a book. *B. It was produced at the time of the event. *C. It is a first-hand account of the event, even if written years later. *D. Both B and C. *ANSWER: D.
  6. 6. * *Primary *First-hand accounts (e.g. journals, letters, memoirs) *Artifacts contemporary with the event (e.g. photographs) *Secondary *Any treatment which draws conclusions based on primary sources (e.g. history book)
  7. 7. * 1. Books 2. Databases (The Deep Web) 3. The Internet (The Surface Web)
  8. 8. * Most of the real gems on the internet will never show up in a Google Search. They are part of the “Deep Web,” stored behind password protected firewalls in databases and archives. Take advantage of the resources that the library can give you access to! About 8 billion pages in the Surface Web* About 85 billion pages in the Deep Web* *Bright Planet Corp. “Largest Deep Web Sites.” Sept. 8,2010. http://aip.completeplanet.com/aip-engines/help/largest_engines.jsp (accessed September 8, 2010).
  9. 9. * *1. The Surface Web *Gain a basic familiarity with the topic, and a general idea about which search terms (keywords) to use. Bookmark anything that looks valuable. *2. Databases *Use your search terms to find great content. *Use subject searching as well as keywords. *Aim for primary sources in addition to secondary ones. *3. Books *Find more detailed or specific information. *Find supporting arguments from credible scholars.
  10. 10. * • Think backwards from the ideal item that you could retrieve, to your search terms. • Think in terms of keywords, and their synonyms. • Be as specific as possible with your search to narrow the results and target a great match. • Use operators to search more effectively: • “Quotes” keep phrases together (“apple pie”) • OR searches for both terms (teens OR teenagers) • NOT (-) eliminates results (war -Iraq) • * is a wildcard (wom*n = women and woman) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8aYoVpdz8o
  11. 11. * The databases gateway organizes all the databases that you have access to in one spot. TIP: Keep your Hawken library card handy!
  12. 12. * Search for books from the entire CLEVNET consortium, and place holds using your card. TIP: Keep your Hawken library card handy!
  13. 13. * *You need to evaluate them to ensure high quality of scholarship, accuracy, usefulness for your research, and to detect any biases.
  14. 14. * *Author Authority Who created the item? What is his or her affiliation? What is his or her relationship to the information contained in the source? *Audience and Purpose Who is the intended audience? Why was the item created? *Accuracy and Completeness Is the evidence reliable and up to date? Are the important points covered? How does the source compare to other similar sources? What may have been left out? *Footnotes and Documentation Are the author's sources in secondary and reference literature clearly identified with complete citations to allow you to find the original source yourself? *Perspective and Bias How do the author's bias and perspective inform the arguments and evidence presented? Presnell, Jenny L. The Information-Literate Historian . New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.
  15. 15. * *To understand the value and limitations of a source, try to answer the following questions: *Is this source a firsthand account, written by a witness or participant? *Was it written at the time of the event or later? *Is the account based on interviews or evidence from those directly involved? *To detect biases, try to answer these questions: *Did the author have a stake in how an event was remembered? Did he or she want this issue to be perceived in a particular way? *Was the author writing for a specific audience? *If possible, compare several primary sources against each other to determine reliability and accuracy. If they conflict, consider why this might be. Bedford/St. Martin's. "Guidelines for Evaluating Primary Documents." Bedford/St. Martin's. http://www.bedfordstmartins.com/history/modules/guides/guide_documents.htm (accessed October 18, 2010).
  16. 16. * Turn to someone seated next to you. Come up with an easy way to remember the evaluation criteria. * (Hint: You can use synonyms for these words…) *Author Authority *Audience and Purpose *Accuracy and Completeness *Footnotes and Documentation *Perspective and Bias
  17. 17. * * T = Timeliness: The information is up to date. * A = Authority: Author is qualified and has listed credentials. * C = Coverage: Topic is deeply covered and cited. * O = Objectivity: Document based on fact and not opinion. * R = Reliability: Can the information be backed by other sources? * E = Evidence: Do they explain and cite their evidence? * A = Authority: Who wrote the article? * D = Date: When was the website last updated? * S = See if the author(s) have authority. * M = Many sites give outdated information. * A = A specific audience may be targeted. * R = Reliability helps determine accuracy. * T = Try to determine if information is unbiased. Lincoln, Margaret. "Information Evaluation & Online Coursework." Knowledge Quest Jan.-Feb. 2010: 28-31. Print.
  18. 18. * *Both the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system and the Library of Congress (LC) arrange materials according to their subject, so that similar items are located next to or near each other on the shelf. *We need to be able to interpret both, since Hawken library (and most small-medium public libraries) uses Dewey, while Cleveland Public Library and most universities use LC.
  19. 19. * *A Dewey call number has three (okay, sometimes four) parts. REF 909.0976 OXF Prefix Code (Optional) Means the item is in a special collection area. Ex: GN, REF General Subject Area (Sorted numerically in Ascending order) Specific Subject Area (Sorted numerically in Ascending order) Author Last Name (Alphabetical) Decimal Point 100: General Works 200: Religion 300: Social Sciences 400: Language 500: Natural Sciences & Mathmatics 600: Technology (Applied Sciences) 700: The Arts 800: Literature & Rhetoric 900: Geography & History
  20. 20. * REF 808 PER REF 808.02 TUR REF 808.003 SIN REF 808 PERREF 808 GAI More specific as we move to the right
  21. 21. * *An LC call number ALSO has three (okay, sometimes four) parts. DS35.53 .O96 Subject Division Main Code (21 Letters) Subject Area (Sorted numerically in Ascending order) Cutter Number (Coded representation of the author) Subject Sub- Division Code (optional)A: General Works B: Philosophy, Psychology, Religion C: Auxiliary Sciences of History D: World History and Histories of Africa, Asia, Europe, etc. E: History of the Americas F: History of the Americas G: Geography, Anthropology, Recreation H: Social Sciences J: Political Science K: Law L: Education M: Music N: Fine Arts P: Language and Literature Q: Science R: Medicine S: Agriculture T: Technology U: Military Science V: Naval Science Z: Bibliography, Library Science, Information Resources
  22. 22. *
  23. 23. * *Broadly, a citation is a reference to a published or unpublished source (not always the original source). * More precisely, a citation is an abbreviated alphanumeric expression (e.g. [Newell84]) embedded in the body of an intellectual work that denotes an entry in the bibliographic references section of the work for the purpose of acknowledging the relevance of the works of others to the topic of discussion at the spot where the citation appears. *Generally the combination of both the in-text citation and the bibliographic entry constitutes what is commonly thought of as a citation (whereas bibliographic entries by themselves are not).
  24. 24. * *Direct quotations from a source; *Images (including maps); *Ideas paraphrased from a source; *Statistics or facts; *Pretty much anything that was not originally created by you. (When in doubt, cite it.)
  25. 25. * • Create your bibliography with templates based on your source. • Annotate each source entry and generate your Annotated Bibliography. • Virtual notecards can link directly to your sources for easy citations. • You can drag and drop your notecards into piles, or into an outline, and keep track of tasks and deadlines associated with your research.
  26. 26. *
  27. 27. * *The first time: Evaluate and skim the source for usefulness. If you think you might use it, create a citation and annotate it with important points from your evaluation, as well as the reasons why you think the source will be useful. *The second time: Read the source carefully and capture notes, including quotations you want to use, as well as your paraphrased summaries and your own ideas which are linked to that source. From this point on, you can work from your notes rather than re- reading the source over and over.
  28. 28. * *Always create a citation for your source when you first find it. Don’t wait until the end! (This includes ALL sources, even those from the web.) *Create a citation for every source that you think you might potentially use, and then tailor your final bibliography based on what you actually use in your paper. *When you take notes, be sure to always connect them back to their source so that you can properly cite them. Specific page numbers matter. *If you photocopy pages from a source, make sure you clearly identify which source they came from so that you can properly cite them.
  29. 29. * *Your ability to write a great paper is largely about your ability to pose interesting and thoughtful questions to answer. *When you get stuck, don’t give up! Leave yourself enough time to try different approaches, and to ask for help if you can’t figure it out.
  30. 30. * *Are your brains full yet? *They are? *Okay. Library Lab Library Floor Rooms 2-3 Rooms 4-5 Meso America & East Asia Africa & N. Europe Oceania North America & Middle East

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