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Research Help

How do I find the best information for my research purpose?

USEFUL TERMS

  • Abstract: a brief summary of an article to help the reader understand the purpose
  • Bibliography: a list of the sources used in research
  • Database: a searchable collection of information
  • Keywords: the important terms from a research topic
  • Reference resources: research tools such as encyclopedias and dictionaries

OTHER QUESTIONS ABOUT SOURCES

  • Is the information considered current for my topic?
  • What bias does the information show, if any?
  • Can this information be verified elsewhere?
  • Did the author cite their sources or provide evidence?

A NOTE ON WIKIPEDIA

When you don't know much about a topic, Wikipedia is a great place to start for a couple of reasons:

1. You can read an overview of the topic to learn more and even narrow down a few keywords.

2. You can follow the references at the bottom of the page to find useable resources.

However...

Wikipedia is not a valid source for research. You should never have it in your bibliography.

PRIMARY VS. SECONDARY SOURCES

Primary Sources
Secondary Sources

SEARCH STRATEGIES

And - for example: software AND engineer (note that a space between words also accomplishes this) will contain results with both terms

Or - for example: industry OR workforce will contain results on industry, workforce, or both

Not - for example: library NOT public (note that the key also accomplishes this) will exclude public in the results

" " - for example: "culinary program" will only contain results with the exact phrase

- for example: manag* will contain results including manage, manager, managing, management, etc.

Cosmetology: Research Help