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Research: Getting Started

Tips for Fast and Reliable research

Research tips

2 reasons why using databases will save you time

  1. The resources in the databases are trusted
  2. They offer preformatted citations you can copy and paste into your documents


Remember the CRAP test--things to consider when choosing sources

  • C=Currency (When was the piece created?)
  • R=Relevance (Does it answer your question? Do you understand it?)
  • A=Authority (Why do you trust the author?)
  • P=Purpose (Why was the piece created?)

To Wiki or not?

It is very easy to edit a Wikipedia article, so many academic teachers do not trust the informationon on this site as editors and authors aren't identified and so the credibility of the information is questionable.  In fact Wikipedia does not recommend its informaiton be used for academic research as noted in this entry Reseaching With Wikipedia.  Wikipedia articles are good for tracking down sources used by authors however and can be a good place to start research. 

Purdue On-Line Writing Lab

Good Research is:

Research is: 

  • Driven by a question or problem that then guides the process.
  • Seeking information with a clear goal in mind.
  • A process, which works best when done step- by-step. The steps may need to be repeated, as the process is reiterative.
  • Collection and interpretation of data in an attempt to resolve the problem or answer the question.
  • Going beyond facts and old ideas.
  • Taking a new look at the information and taking a stand.

Research is not:

  • Copying and pasting information you find through a Google search.
  • Combining a paragraph from one article with a couple of paragraphs from websites. That's plagiarism.
  • Writing a "report."
  • Rearranging facts.
  • Rewording each phrase and citing each source. That's just a summary of facts with someone else's name on them and still can be classified as plagiarism.
  • Remember, begin with a "wide net" in your search and then narrow your search results from there. You will generally find more information than with a very narrow search.
  • Don't wear "blinders" as you look for information on your topic. If you only look for specific information to answer a specific question, you may miss many opportunities to broaden your understanding of your topic.
  • Allow for surprises- you may find your views on your topic will change and take you in an entirely new direction.
  • Remember that research is searching again and again (re - search).
  • In the process of doing research, you will be looking at information that others have looked at before, trying to see something that they have not seen.

Using note sheets helps keep you organized

Notes sheets allow you to keep track of your resources and stay organized throughout your research process.  

Research made easy with Explora

Just Google It - Research for a Paper - by WriteCheck

Library Media Specialist

Nancy Green's picture
Nancy Green
Timberlane Regional High School
36 Greenough Road
Plaistow, New Hampshire 03865

Should I use Google?????