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Online Researching Tips

Feb 14

Online Researching Tips

Online research can be very intimidating, especially if it is not something you’ve done before. Where to start? What’s reliable? How do I source the papers, websites, articles, or journals that I use? There are plenty of questions to be asked about online research. This guide should help you find a place to start your research.


Do Some Preliminary Research

One can start preliminary research on a site such as Wikipedia by looking at the references section at the bottom. Those links can be very helpful in determining information that you will be using during the course of your research.

Search Scholarly Websites

It is easiest to begin with a basic Google search, but this is not the best place to look for scholarly articles. Try a website like Google Scholar instead. Google scholar allows you to search for relevant research papers. This yields information that you would be able to cite and use in a formal paper, as opposed to general, unreliable sources.

Although some articles require a subscription, you can try to view the article by clicking on either the “PDF” link or a “Library” link. If you are logged in through a university computer or using their internet connection you should be able to access just about any scholarly article through Google scholar or the library website.

Use Your Library’s Online Resources

Another great source of information is online library websites. Most universities have a subscription to academic journals published worldwide and these can be accessed through your school’s library website. You then have the ability to search by subject, journal, or for specific topics.

Find Peer Reviewed Articles

The most reliable sources are ones that are peer reviewed. It is best to cite from a peer reviewed article: They have the most reliable information. The ability to find reliable articles quickly and effectively will save you a lot of time and energy in the future when the research papers you need to write become longer. These longer papers will take more time to write and will require more citations to support the ideas you put forward.

Lastly, remember it is very important to cite all your sources!

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