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How to Do Great Research – Fast! Cara Marco 456-6773.

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Presentation on theme: "How to Do Great Research – Fast! Cara Marco 456-6773."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to Do Great Research – Fast! Cara Marco

2 Why Do Research? Find information about a topic. Develop a perspective on the material based on what you already knew and what you’ve learned. Present your findings in a new form.

3 Why is research tough? No “right answer” Decisions, decisions, decisions

4 Step 1: Understand the assignment. What to know: –Due date(s) –How to submit the finished product –Type and number of sources –Required length –Purpose of the assignment –Etc.

5 Step 2: Choose a topic. Find a topic that interests you, but don’t get stuck here. Push yourself to get started. If you’re stuck, read!

6 Step 2: Choose a topic. Make sure your topic is not too broad or too narrow for the assignment. –Most people think too big.

7 Step 3: Write research questions. Write down your topic. Write every question that you need to answer to complete the assignment. Be specific.

8 Step 3: Write research questions. Some examples from different topics: –How much does the average attorney make? –How many tourists per year come to Costa Rica? –Who invented fondant?

9 Step 4: Decide what kinds of resources you’re going to use. Under each question, write down what kind of resource you think will help you best answer the question. Be open-minded! Remember, more search terms = Fewer results

10 Step 4: Decide what kinds of resources you’re going to use. Tip: The source has to prove itself to you, not the other way around.

11 Step 4: Decide what kinds of resources you’re going to use. Evaluating sources: –Can I understand this? –Can I navigate through it using headings, indexes, or tables of contents? –Will it provide answers to my research questions?

12 Step 5: Search for books Visit the library catalog at and use the Search function. Enter a search term. If you get no results, think fewer, broader topics. Don’t add more search terms.

13 Step 5: Search for books Tip: Look next to the book on the shelf to see if you find any other books on the same topic.

14 Step 6: Search for articles in databases In any database, look for a place to enter your search terms. Enter your search term or terms. Remember to try synonyms.

15 Step 6: Search for articles in databases Database searching features: –Suggested topics –Full text –Abstracts

16 Step 7: Search for Internet sources CurrencyReliability Remember that the Internet can’t provide everything!

17 Step 8: Start reading Use the index and contents. Scan, then read. Use Post-It notes in books and written notes in articles to make notes. Photocopy title pages and necessary information.

18 Step 9: Answer your research questions Enter answers and sources into your page of research questions. Remember to mark quotes.

19 Step 10: Start writing Consider using your research questions pages as an outline. Keep your sources close. Remember that there may be no right answer, only an answer you can defend.

20 Step 10: Start writing Develop your own voice. –Have an opinion –Argue your case –Support your conclusions with your research

21 Your friendly librarian What a librarian can do for you: –Recommend a database –Teach you to use a database –Troubleshoot searching problems –Suggest topic changes –Provide APA information –Help you find books


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