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1 LE 4000 ENGLISH FOR ACADEMIC PURPOSES STEP 2 Gathering academic information The Internet & Other academic sources.

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Presentation on theme: "1 LE 4000 ENGLISH FOR ACADEMIC PURPOSES STEP 2 Gathering academic information The Internet & Other academic sources."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 LE 4000 ENGLISH FOR ACADEMIC PURPOSES STEP 2 Gathering academic information The Internet & Other academic sources

2 2 The internet We are sure that the internet would be your favourite research tool. but ….

3 3 So, you need to… 1. Use search engines to your advantage 2. Identify the web site 3. Examine for credibility 4. Determine depth and scope of information 5. Assess date of information

4 4 The Internet and Research ► Finding quality academic web materials and using them to your advantage in your writing can be challenging. LE 4000: English for Academic Purposes

5 5 Most importantly, don’t forget to evaluate web sources because… ► Virtually any person can publish almost anything on the Internet. ► Unlike most print sources, web sources do not have to be professionally accepted and edited to be published.

6 6 Types Of Web Pages Types Of Web Pages 1. Informative pages 2. Personal web pages 3. Political/interest group pages 4. Marketing-oriented or “infomercial” pages 5. Entertainment pages

7 7 1. What is a search engine? ► A search engine is an Internet tool that locates web pages and sorts them according to specified keywords.

8 8 Types of search engines ► Yahoo and Alta Vista are the most useful search engines for beginning searches. ► Google, Northern Light, and Snap access the greatest percentage of the World Wide Web –around 15-16%. ► Dogpile will search through several search engines at once. ► A collection of search engine links is available at the OWL web site:

9 9 Use search engines to your advantage ► Search engines can help you to identify sources that will provide serious information, products or services, or entertainment.

10 10 Use search engines to your advantage ► Pick the right search engine for your research needs.  Yahoo and AltaVista will help you to distinguish between different categories of web sites.  Hotbot, however, locates information based upon the popularity of the site. ► Refine your search whenever possible.

11 11 Limit your keyword search ► It is a good idea to read the directions for each search engine to get the most out of your search. ► Use words like AND and OR to limit your search and get more specified information.

12 12 2. Identify the web site ► Sometimes the actual purpose of the web site may not be clearly articulated. ► Can be difficult to separate advertising from accurate information. ► Some marketing sites will offer misleading information in attempts to sell their products.

13 13 Identify the web site ► Whenever possible, try to locate the home page. ► You can often do this by eliminating some information from the end of the URL such

14 14 on the web sites on the web sites ► Who is the creator of the site? ► What is the purpose of the site? ► Who is the audience of this site? ► Can you purchase products at this site? ► Is the site affiliated with a business or university? ► Does the site offer idiosyncratic information about a particular person or group?

15 15 3. Examine the credibility ► Credibility may be compromised by purposeful misinformation or by unintentional neglect. ► Locating the name of the site’s creator may be challenging. ► Credentials may be missing even if the author’s name is provided.

16 16 on credibility ► Who is the author of the site? ► What is the authority or expertise of the individual or group? ► What else comes up when you type the author’s name into a search engine? ► Does the source have a political or business agenda? ► Is the site sponsored by a political or business group? If so, what can you find out about that group? ► Does the site provide a list of sources or a Works Cited page? ► Can you locate any of the source material? How reliable is this material? ► Are there links to other credible sites with additional information? ► Does the site provide a link for emailing the author or webmaster?

17 17 4. Determine depth and scope of information ► Does the material show signs of research, such as references to other sources, hyperlinks, footnotes, or a reference page? ► Does the author consider opposing points of view? ► How closely does the site really match the information for which you are searching? ► Verify information whenever possible!

18 18 Determine depth and scope of information Are there a lot of flashy pictures, colors, animated images, and logos designed to attract attention? Do these eye-catching images distract you from noticing a lack of credible information? Do they disguise an attempt to get you to buy something?

19 19 Determine depth and scope of information ► Different from print sources:  Information covered on web pages is often presented for easy digestion and visual appeal.  Information may not provide sufficient depth or scope.  Material may be affected by marketing or political bias. ► Sometimes web sources may not be the right sources for the information you need.

20 20 5. Assess date of information ► Can you locate a date on the web page? ► Dates on web pages can mean:  Date the author first wrote or developed the material  Date site was first available on the Internet for public access  Date site was most recently updated, including revisions, additions, or subtractions to the material

21 21 The reliability of online sites. Remember… ► ► Reliable sites are from educational, NGOs or government organizations. ► ► Expert authors. Names mentioned in other sources. ► ► Subscribed by the university or library.

22 22 You have seen how to critically evaluate and use the internet. Let us proceed to THE EVALUATION OF PUBLISHED ACADEMIC SOURCES


24 24 WHY DO I HAVE TO EVALUATE THE PUBLISHED MATERIALS? Sources are rarely of equal value. Not every source will contribute to the academic field. Not everything is reliable.


26 26 1. INITIAL APPRAISAL a) Is the source authoritative? b) Is the author an expert? c) When is the date of publication (Is it current or classic) ?

27 27 1. INITIAL APPRAISAL a. PUBLISHER ► Is it a university publisher? ► Is it likely to be scholarly? ► Even if the publisher is reputable, this does not mean the source is a quality source, but it does indicate the publisher has a high regard for it.

28 28 date of information ► Does the site clearly state a date of creation or a date for the most recent update? ► More importantly, does the information cover recent changes or advances in the field or topic you are researching?

29 29 1. INITIAL APPRAISAL: b. AUTHOR ► What do you know about the author? ► Why did you choose him? ► A specialist? ► Affiliated to any organization? Values? ► Has your lecturer referred to him?

30 30 1. INITIAL APPRAISAL c. DATE OF PUBLICATION ► When was the source published? ► Is the source current or out of date for your topic? (Topic areas such as sciences and engineering are very up-to-date unlike the social sciences.) ► Is this a first edition of this publication? Further editions indicate the source has been revised and updated. ► If you are using a web source, do the pages indicate revision dates?

31 31 WHAT DO I LOOK FURTHER WHEN I ANALYSE MY SOURCES? a. Intended audience. b. Objective reasoning. c. Coverage. d. Writing style.

32 32 A. INTENDED AUDIENCE ► Who is the audience? ► Specialized audience?

33 33 B. OBJECTIVE REASONING ► Based on facts or opinions? ► Is it a propaganda? Is it well researched? ► Is the author being objective or emotional?

34 34 C. COVERAGE ► Read the preface. Scan the table of contents. Found what you need? Read the chapters/parts that address your topic. ► Does it cover your topic? ► Does it add new input to your viewpoints? ► Does it repeat what you already have?

35 35 D. WRITING STYLE ► Can you find the main ideas? ► What are the details? ► How do you find the language? Is it easy to understand? Too easy? Too difficult? Full of jargons? Too technical? Just right? ► It helps if you like the writer’s style of writing. ► If you find yourself rereading sentences over and over just to get the gist of the paragraph, FORGET IT! ► Try to find other sources



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