Module 6 – Searching and Researching

I guarantee that at one point in your academic and professional lives you will have to research something. Research can be a daunting task but thankfully there are a number of ways to narrow down your search as well as things to look for to make sure your source is credible!

I always recommend www.google.com/advanced_search. In fact, any search engine you use, scholarly or otherwise, utilize the advanced search settings! With Google Advanced Search you can search for general keywords, exact phrases, put limits on language and region and so much more. My favorite part about Google’s Advanced Search settings is the fact that you can limit the websites. You can look for .edu, .gov, .net or whatever you need! If I’m looking for something from a certain university (say OSU), I like to limit it to osu.edu.

Once you’ve found your article or website or book, always make sure it’s credible! There are three things to look for when checking credibility: reliable information, quality information, and utility of the article. To make sure your article is reliable always check for question contact info, author credentials, the reputation of the organization, and to see if it’s peer reviewed. To make sure your article has quality information check to see if it is up to date, consistent, well written, biased, and most importantly, make sure it has citations. Finally, to make sure your article has utility, verify the target audience matches your goals, and that it’s related to your topic!

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