Research Plan Using the Library Using What You’ve Found
Organize your thoughts to assess what you already know. Support information by using specific research. Specific research provides sources to quote-people who know more about a given topic than you.
How much do you know about the topic before you begin? Find an expert on your topic and interview them Government officials Organizations University Departments
Remember to adapt to the audience that will hear your presentation. A class speech may require less formality than a commencement address before members of the community. The audience may not have the same interests as you.
What do the listeners already know about my topic? How do I capture their interests? How formal should my language be? What should I avoid saying that might alienate some audience members? What can I say to change the minds of people who might disagree with my position?
Make it clear that you care about your audience and that you want to share the information in your speech with them. NFL quarterback Doug Flutie, a public speaker for raising awareness about autism, received an honorary Doctor of Human Letters when he addressed Cazenovia College’s 1999 graduates.
Using the library is crucial step in preparing a piece of writing. You need to supplement your personal knowledge with solid research. Don’t be intimidated by the library.
Take advantage of the reference librarian’s knowledge. They are trained to answer your questions and give you guidance in your research efforts. They are aware of places to look to help you find the information you are looking for. They actually like helping you.
They will often help you over the phone- great time-saver The librarians working in these departments will find facts for you-for free. The Supreme Court’s most recent ruling on capital punishment How to get financial aid for college If you plan ahead, this is an awesome resource!
Interlibrary Loan: a cooperative system by which libraries lend specific books to one another on order for the cost of postage and an insurance fee. If your library does not have the book you need, this is a good resource.
Database: a collection of related information Online databases provide rapid access to many computer databases containing information on many topics. The Internet is littered with false information that people purposely post. Do not use Wikipedia.com as a source…EVER!
1. The Authority of the author/publisher of information. You should be able to identify the author of the work/site, his/her credentials, relevant affiliations, and past writings. The article itself should offer information, or sources like Who’s Who, the author’s home page, or Google search the publishers/author’s name to see what other works support their credentials.
What is the motive for your source’s article, blog, website? Does your source admit to a particular bias? Offer historical, medical or industry facts and not opinions, or affiliation viewpoints? Can you compare the information to other independent sites/articles to verify facts?
Do the facts agree with your own knowledge of the subject? Can you insure information is complete and accurate by comparing with other specialists in the field? Does this author list other sources for his/her information, as well? And, believe it or not, check the site, article or blog for grammatical and spelling errors, typos. These usually indicate a non- professional delivery of information, making the facts suspect.
When was the information published? Check the date on the web page for publication date and revision dates. Is the information current? Does it update old facts? Substantiate other materials you’ve read?
Are these facts popular vs. scholarly? (Huffington Post vs. Wall Street Journal)Does the information use raw data, photographs, first-hand accounts, reviews or research reports? Has the information been analyzed and the resources cited? Are footnotes, endnotes or bibliographies listed? http://killzoneauthors.blogspot.com/2011/08/internet- research-not-always-deep.html#.UWLkSNbCbTo
My Virtual Reference Desk www.refdesk.com This site links to dictionaries, encyclopedias, reference/research materials www.libraryspot.com This site links to over 300 libraries, including the Library of Congress. www.Ask.com Jeeves will take you to an Internet site that answers your question.
Books: Table of Contents Outlines the general plan of the work. My include the page number where a chapter begins, a summary of the content of each chapter, and a breakdown of each chapter into its major sections.
Periodicals: Newsbank Electronic Index Accesses more than 2 million newspaper articles! Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature They are arranged my subject and author This is great for journals and magazines. More than 300 popular magazines Don’t forget Encyclopedias You also can use interviews as sources
Take Notes: Record more notes than you think you’ll need. Organize so that you can easily incorporate them into your speech or paper. Use 3X5 notecards Heading Source citations at the bottom Use quotation marks
Plagiarism is copying or imitating the language, ideas, or thoughts of another and passing them off as your original work. Some websites offer to write it for you. Don’t copy and paste information into your speech or paper! You do not need to quote a source of you are reciting a fact that is available from many sources Example: George Washington had wooden dentures. If you are not sure, quote! “When in doubt, tell the truth.” Mark Twain