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Research Tips

When looking up information...

  1. Check for relevance
a.     Don’t get lost in all the information out there!
b.     Start with focus questions, break down what you are looking for.
c.     Is the information related or important to my topic or question?
d.     Am I on the right track?
 
2.     It’s in the details!
a.     How much information is needed?
b.     Is there enough?
c.     Menu bars and site maps are very helpful!
 
3.     Is it student appropriate?
a.     Filters don’t always work!
b.     Is the information okay for my age and values?
c.     Will it help answer the question?
 
4.     How new is the information?
a.     Was the information written or published recently or is it too old?
b.     Older sources are not useless, but make sure you aren’t missing an important piece of recent information.
c.     Sometimes the published date is left out on purpose.
 
5.     Who wrote it?
a.     There is a lot of false information out there; anyone can publish a webpage these days.
b.     Does the author have the background or knowledge to write about this subject?
c.     Are they associated with a school, company, or government agency?
d.     Check for spelling and other errors, that is a big clue.
 
6.     Is the information biased?
a.     Is the page written only to give you information or does it try to persuade you to believe a certain way?
b.     This isn’t always bad, just when you are misled to believe something is true, but it is not.
c.     Check the mission statement, authorship, advertising, organization behind the information.

 

Christensson, K.  RADCAB.  Madison:  Upstart Books, 2006.  Print.

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