College Survival Guide/Improving Research Skills
- Relevancy: Is it relevant?
- Authority: Does it have an author? Can an author be found?
- Credibility: Is the author credible?
- Accuracy: Is the information accurate?
- Currency: How current is the information?
- Accessibility: How easily can it be accessed?
- Reading level: What is the reading level? Ph.D reading level? College? High school? Middle school? Grade school reading level?
- What needs to be known in order to read the information? Knowledge of statistics? Knowledge of cognitive science and various parts of the brain? Any technical jargon or lingo?
- What is field research?
- Before you start: Ask permission.
- Supplies for field research?
Library vs. Internet
It is often faster to use a library than it is to use the internet. Being that I've been on the web a decade or more now, I've learned many interesting things.
For one, the Internet offers a lot of knowledge—a lot of diverse knowledge. Matter of fact, the Internet over the years has become so diverse, searching through the web is like looking through the garbage for something you accidentally threw away. Finding things on the Internet has become very complex these days, and many people rant about having better information to offer than the competitor.
With Internet searching skills, a person will get better at finding materials. Sometimes, people take a shortcut and go to a web forum to ask people a question or where to locate information. The truth is, searching, asking, and locating on the Internet becomes very time consuming. I’ve found that it becomes more time consuming than looking around in a library.
The library often has many resources to choose from. Learning where everything is in a library is important. The more you know about every nook and cranny in a library, the more you can prepare to find materials to do research. Professors usually want book sources when a student is doing a paper. Libraries also have a physical search engine called a librarian. This person is better than an Internet search engine, because you can describe what you need to research, what you are looking for, and ask where it is and how you can find more information.
It is often better to search through a library than through the Internet. This can be disputed, but if you start using a lot of time to research something you could have researched in the library, then maybe you might want to try using the library.
Taking notes of Resources
- Obtain resources.
- Copy down publisher, author, and other information.
- If you want, you can use a scanner bed to copy that information from a book.
- Copying pages from a book is faster than writing information:
- Copy cover pages.
- Copy publisher, author, and LOC page.
- Print out a physical copy of resources
- Put copy into folder(s)
- Store information somewhere safe
- Store digital data on a digital medium
- CDs and DVDs
- Upload to the Internet
- Documenting artifacts, items, and other physical objects in research.
- Reprography: A camera and a copy stand.
- Buying supplies: A camera and a copy stand.
- Post-image processing.