Presentation on theme: "RESEARCHING TIPS & STRATEGIES Summer 2008 Melanie Wilson Academic Success Center MSC 207."— Presentation transcript:
RESEARCHING TIPS & STRATEGIES Summer 2008 Melanie Wilson Academic Success Center MSC 207
Introduction Researching is a key component of academic success. Understanding how to research, find, and evaluate information will help you in all of your classes and in life! Objectives: In this presentation, I will: Identify what research is Identify where to search Identify how to search Identify tools for searching
Research is… According to Merriam Dictionary: 1 re·search careful or diligent search the collecting of information about a particular subject Research is: Finding the BEST information on a topic Finding information to support an argument or hypothesis Evaluating information
Truths about Researching Researching is a multi-step process Researching takes times The SUCCESS of a research paper is based on the quality of the information and sources you use. It is nearly impossible to write a good paper with weak sources. If you use strong resources – you’ll have a strong end product.
Tips for Research Success Tips for Research Success Video Clip Source: Transitioning2College http://www.transitioning2college.org/module_tips_for_research_success.html#
Finding information Places to conduct research: Library Catalog Library Catalog Library Website Library Website Research Databases Research Databases The Internet Google Scholar Google News Google Uncle Sam: Government Documents Google Books
ALWAYS start at the library… (Remember you don’t need to go to the library to utilize its resources.) WHY? The library has loads of FREE, QUALITY resources at your fingertips Books Newspaper Articles Magazine Articles Databases Statistics The library also has information experts that are eager to help.
Navigating the Kent Library Page http://library.kent.edu Online catalog. Search by: Keyword Author Title Subject Search materials in the Kent State Library – such as books & journals. Online catalog. Search by: Keyword Author Title Subject Search materials in the Kent State Library – such as books & journals. Online Reference Shelf links to reference books such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, & statistical sources available online– FREE to Kent State students. Search for full-text scholarly journal, magazine, and newspaper articles in the Research Databases.
Searching the Online Catalog Search by: Keyword (searches all fields of a record including: title, author, subject, table of contents) Keyword is a good place to start if you have no specific information on a resource Title (searches for the exact title left to right… use keyword if you don’t know the exact title) Author (searches for the author’s name) Search last name first Subject (searches the subject term assigned to a material– you must be familiar with the LC subject heading to use this field) http://library.kent.edu
Searching the Research Databases If you want to find current information or scholarly publications, you can search the research databases.research databases. The key to searching research databases is choosing the right one. Below are some good places to get started: Academic Search Complete Academic Search Complete Lexis-Nexis Academic Lexis-Nexis Academic Masterfile Masterfile JSTOR JSTOR
Talking to Databases Using the language databases understand will greatly improve your search results. Talking to Databases Source: Transitioning 2 College. http://www.transitioning2college.org/module_talking_to_databases.html http://www.transitioning2college.org/module_talking_to_databases.html
Developing a Search Strategy STEPS FOR SEARCHING 1. Choose a database related to your topic 2. Use your topic statement to formulate a search strategy 3. Break your topic into main ideas/key terms 4. Brainstorm and think of synonyms for you main ideas 5. Fill in a search strategy worksheet
Connecting Search Terms When searching, combine synonyms with OR and main ideas with AND AND
Search Strategy Example Topic: What is the effect of television violence on children? Main Ideas: Television, violence, children Similar Words: Concept 1Concept 2Concept 3 televisionviolencechildren TVaggressionteenagers mediapreschoolers Source: Transitioning 2 College. http://www.transitioning2college.org/http://www.transitioning2college.org/
Example Search Statement (television OR TV OR media) AND violence AND teen* (television OR TV) AND (violence OR aggression) AND (teen* OR children)
Using Truncation Some words have multiple forms Databases are only able to search the exact word you enter For example: Teen, teens, teenaged, teenager, teenagers If you truncate teenagers to teen*, you will retrieve all forms of the word
Search Strategy Form Source: http://www.transitio ning2college.org/
Searching the Net The internet contains a wealth of information Benefits: Easy to use Quickly updated & current Hub of multi-media Weaknesses: Quality control Always changing
Internet Search Tools If you must use the internet for research, these tools will help lead you to more reliable sources Google Scholar Google Scholar Benefit: connects directly to Ohiolink Google News Google News Google Uncle Sam (Government Documents) Google Uncle Sam Google Books Google Books Wikipedia Wikipedia
Evaluating Resources The most important part of research, especially on the web, is evaluation. As a researcher, you need to be able to distinguish the good from the bad. Scope What area does the site cover? Does it go into an appropriate amount of depth? Currency Is the site recent? Does it have an date listed? Authority Who is the author or institution publishing the site? What are their credentials? Do they have expertise in the area? Accuracy Does the information have an obvious bias? Does the information contain citations? Quality Are there errors or spelling mistakes on the site? Is it well written? Is it edited or peer- reviewed?
Web Resource Caution When using the internet --- BE CRITICAL! Find out who is behind a site? What is their motive? Who is sponsoring it? Who published the material? An expert, a professor with a PhD, a professional?