the research process.

getting started: identify and develop yout topic.

what kind of essay? pick one: tell a story, paint a picture, state a fact, convince someone.

click the button to get inspiration for your essay.


a word at the very least: keywords

keywords are the most important words in a sentence, in this case, your topic.

this is where your basic knowledge of boolean operations comes in handy. and they said you would never use it.

for more on boolean operations, click here.

little otto
your choice of keywords will determine greatly the quality of information obtained. always have several keywords available to mix and match to get the information you need.

use wikipedia, just don't tell me you did: find background information.

wikipedia is an encyclopedia constantly updated and edited by the users as a group.

wikipedia should not be treated as a source. it's more of a point of access to sources.

silently watching
the lack of both specific authority and definitive currency make wikipedia articles inappropriate to cite. nevertheless, it is still a great source of background information. remember: use wikipedia, just don't tell me you did.

type the keyword here:

click the button for some background information.

wikipedia articles




new york times articles




chicken bone
using encyclopedias and newspaper articles is a great way to get background information about a topic, especially if one is unfamiliar with it.

sources: use library catalogs and databases to find books and articles.

tomb rosicrucian
the library catalog is a list of the books the library has in it, along with a brief description of its contents, who wrote it, what it is about, and when it was written.

search our collection using our own library catalog.

find books we don't have at other libraries using worldcat.

captain gulliver
it is expected for each library to have its own library catalog. worldcat, on the other hand, searches the collections from thousands of libraries in over 100 countries around the world.


databases is another way to say lists.

hospitals, government agencies, stores, libraries, all have databases.

library databases: lists of publications and their articles.

battling bird
the library catalog is itself a database.

for a more in-depth view of databases and how they work, click here.

googling it: find additional internet resources.

people have access to more information than ever before, and search engines make research feel effortless. when doing research on the web, where a gatekeeper is absent, it is a good idea to have a few search strategies on hand.


medieval slinger
.com, .org, .edu, .gov, and other domains are given to people or organizations by the internet gods according to certain criteria. these domains cannot be chosen by the publisher.

social media: if you are not paying, you are the product.

facebook knows:

your name
where you live
your email
your phone number
what you look like
how old you are
who your friends are
how many devices you have
your marital status
where you work
how much you like shoes
your favorite brands
where you went to school
when you went on vacation
where you went for vacation
who you voted for
vanilla or chocolate
the places where you have lived
your favorite celebrities
who you have dated
your favorite color
your religion
the car you want
your political philosophy
what you like
what you love
your hobbies
your best pictures
what makes you sad
what makes you happy
the phone you use
what makes you angry
the books you read
the music you like
your favorite tv shows
the movies you like
when your birthday is
your race
your mood
your favorite food
your news sources
your favorite places
where you are, right now

number of people who know all of this about you

go here for more about social media and research, including echo chambers and search engine optimization.

if you are not paying, you are the product.
selling a chainsaw
type of ad what you know about audience reach cost % lumberjacks theor. profits
superbowl ad not much millions millions of $ per 30 seconds not many lower
facebook ad quite a lot potentially millions about $11.20 per 1000 views* can market to only them higher
*2019 rates.

what you like is not what you need: search engine optimization.

your past searches could prevent you from finding the information you really need for your school work.

for a closer look at how your past searching behavior can affect what you find on the internet, click here.

clara tragedian
at the very least, you must know unambiguously who published the information ann when it was published. on the other hand, information should not be automatically dismissed because of ads or grammatical errors.

says who: evaluate sources.

ask questions about your information sources.

dog spinning
on the internet, nobody knows you are a dog.

cite your sources using a standard format.

article citation demo


Lastname, Firstname. Title of source. Title of container, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location. Optional elements


Lastname, F. I.(Publication date). Title of source. Title of container, Volume(issue). Retrieved from url


Lastname, Firstname. Title of source. Title of container Volume, no. issue (Year of publication): pages.

click here for more information about citations, including annotated bibliographies.