Research skills for your essay
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Research Skills for Your Essay. Where to begin…. Starting the search task for real. Finding and selecting the best resources are the key to any project Use a variety of different resources

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Starting the search task for real
Starting the search task for real

  • Finding and selecting the best resources are the key to any project

  • Use a variety of different resources

  • This will show the reader that you have researched fully and increase the chances of using credible resources

Where do you look first
Where do you look first?

  • Google

  • NO

  • Wikipedia

  • NO

  • Ask your mate

  • NO

  • The Library


Why the library
Why the Library

  • It’s the gateway to all knowledge

  • Books

  • Academic journals

  • Electronic resources

  • ….and more

Print resources
Print Resources

  • Books

  • Generally reliable

  • Authors credentials can be checked

  • Bibliography provides list of other useful resources

  • Currency, check the publication date. Remember that the publication process can take a long time

Book resources
Book Resources

  • Reviews and Abstracts

  • Both can be used to decide whether an item is likely to be of use.

  • A review is another’s opinion of the text

  • An abstract is a summary of the contents.

Search tip
Search Tip

  • Often an abstract will provide all the information you need about the contents of a book, and provide another item for your bibliography

Search tip1
Search tip

  • Use the bibliography to find the titles of other resources that might be of use


  • Magazines written for an academic audience

  • Up to date

  • Peer reviewed

World wide web
World Wide Web

  • There are billons of pages of information on the Internet

  • Books

  • Newspapers

  • Audio video

  • Websites

Search tip2
Search Tip

  • To find the right resources you need to select the right tools. Using the best search tool can save a lot of time and retrieve higher quality more relevant resources

Search tools
Search Tools

  • Search engines

Search process
Search Process

  • Focus

  • Strategize

  • Refine

  • Evaluate

Search tip3
Search tip

  • A good online search starts off-line. Read about your subject. Think about what you already know and what you need to know

  • Think about keywords and phrases and where best to search

  • Adjust your search by widening or narrowing the range. Improve it by adding new words that you come across

  • Decide how credible the document is

Search strategy
Search Strategy

  • Dream senario: Getting the best results and in the first few pages

  • Beware of sponsored links

Search tip4
Search tip

  • There is always more than one way to describe what you’re looking for

  • Brainstorm synonyms

  • Nouns are better than verbs as verbs tend to be vague

  • Put the most important words first

  • Incorrect spellings can be a problem – use the spelling help if there is one

Search tips
Search Tips

  • Use the end of the web address to assess what type of site the info comes from

  • .com

  • .edu or .ac or .sch

  • .gov

  • .org

Ask an expert
Ask an Expert

  • Use an “ask the expert site”

  • Contact the author or editor via the website link


  • Credible : check credentials of site and authors, print vs online, web addresses

  • Accurate : compare sources

  • Reliable : what is the aim of the site, does it have bias, check web addresses

  • Relevant : Quality not quantity. Does it answer the question. Check the date of publication. Does it match the above criteria?

Academic fraud
Academic Fraud

  • What is it?

  • Stealing others work or ideas

  • Copying from a friend

  • Buying from the Internet

  • Help from others

  • Cut and paste without attribution

I didn t mean to do it
I didn’t mean to do it

  • The information came from a book but I can’t remember which one.

  • Can’t express it any better than the website has but I changed a few words.

  • My mom wrote the summary because I was running short of time.

  • I reused an essay from last year – well it was my own work.

How to avoid it
How to avoid it

  • Credit facts and ideas

  • Be organised by keeping a record of all the resources you use.

  • Ensure all citations are in “quotation marks”

  • Paraphrase

  • Summerise

  • Clearly identify source - make a bibliography