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issues in research papers
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Search Smarter, Not Harder
Search Smarter Not Harder
If you find yourself overwhelmed with all the information you can find on google or bing, or perhaps you think it is 2000 and you use answers.com or actually type out a full question...
This page was written to help you organize your searching.
Determine what your key terms are. Perhaps you are looking for an answer to "what was the impact of WWI on Japan?" What should you google? Japan is too big, so is WWI (not WW1), so put BOTH terms in your search. What other words are important in that question? impact? go ahead and see if that helps you get some more specific sites for your topic!
So, you have 380,000,000 sites to search through. How to know which ones are good?
1. Wikipedia is a nice place to start, but a really bad place to finish your search.
Wikipedia is getting better and better (way better than answer.com or yahoo answers -which are for the truly search illiterate), but Wikipedia can sometimes be too overwhelming or very occasionally, just plain wrong. One really nice thing about wikipedia is at the
of the page is a bibliography (just like the one you are creating) that links all the online sources they got their info (keeps them honest and helps you do your own research), you can use these links to go find great sources of information.
2. There are search engines designed for high school students doing school research. Yes, You are not the only person on earth suffering through a research paper.
World History Archives. Divided by topics, some great stuff here for certain topics...you will only know if you search.
This is just scholarly publications...might include some challenging reading, but you will find the very best info on the web about whatever topic you are looking for. This is where I start. It filters out random 7th grade class projects and other distractions that you do not want and may not use. You may only use scholarly sources so a school project is by definition not allowed.
is the same as above but just in books. That is right, entire library books have been scanned and are now online. This will be useful for your bibliography and can count as a hard copy, there might be issues with entire chapters missing though so be careful.
The internet public library is great for some subjects, librarians have created collections of great sites for your research.
This is a very comprehensive list of search engines that are great for research projects.
3. When searching, read the little blurb that is visible to you so that you can see what it is all about before taking the time to click the site. If using google and you click "cached" you can go directly to your search terms that will be highlighted on the website.
4. Surf responsibly. There is a lot of random crud out there. For your research paper only use the best sites (.edu .gov .org and some .com), don't waste your time clicking through garbage.
Search smarter, not harder.
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