Conducting Research How to conduct basic research Created by Ed Jessup MLS
Choosing your topic… Things to keep in mind when choosing a topic • Is your topic too broad? • Is your topic too narrow? • Will your topic hold your attention?
Do an informal search Look in different sources for ideas…. • Journals • Magazines • Online sources (such as databases) • Reliable websites • Specialized dictionaries or encyclopedias
Commit to a topic • After your informal research… • Evaluate if the topic is manageable • If the topic is manageable commit to it • Begin to collect research on topic…
Create a “purpose” or “thesis Statement” • Gives the purpose or reason for your research. • Gives structure to your paper • Tells the reader what you are researching • Gives the focus of your research
Example of a “purpose” or “thesis” Statement: • “Henry David Thoreau is considered a vital force within the transcendental movement and his frequent discussion of nature within his writings, Thoreau may also be considered a pioneer in environmentalism.”
Another Example of a “purpose” or “thesis” Statement: • “Sometimes referred to as the new slavery, human trafficking is often spawned by poverty and corruption”
Evaluating proper resources • Trade Journals • Magazines • Respected newspapers • Online sources (databases) • Respected websites • Audio/visual sources
Use a variety of resources and Formats • Books • Journals • Magazines • News papers • Online Databases • Respected websites • Multimedia (audio/visual)
What are RELIABLE resources??? • Print sources such as up to date books, journals and credible magazines • Reliable websites such as government and organizational websites • Databases know for storing peer reviewed and credible publications • Multimedia clips from different media sources
Print Sources • Book, magazine or journal *Check for Currency of source *Check for latest edition (Books) *Evaluate table of contents/index *Author and publisher credentials
Databases • What subject areas does it cover? • Are the articles and publications collegiate? • Are the articles peer reviewed? • Are the articles relevant? • Are the articles current?
Websites • Is the website up to date? • Is the source a reliable source? • Is the website a government or respected organizational website? • Is the information in the website current?
Multimedia • Is the information current? • Is the source a valid and reliable source? • Is the information fact or opinion based? • Does the information work with the goal of your paper?
Gathering information • As you gather resources: *Evaluate your information *Create your work cited as you go along • Resources can be removed or added as necessary
Create an outline • Create a rough outline for your paper • Plan you outline carefully • Pull information from your sources and find appropriate places for the information • Make sure outline flows and makes sense
Construct Draft • Use outline as map for paper • Do not forget to cite sources • Put aside unused sources • Update works cited (bibliography) • Revise
Final Draft • Proofread your paper • Make corrections • Make sure all work is cited • Have a 2nd person proof read your paper • Create final draft