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Presented By: The Academic Support Center Berkeley College Online When looking for journal articles, monographs, factual information, or high- quality resources, the same principles apply: Narrow your topic Make sure search terms are relevant/focused Make sure topics are in alignment Examine sources for bias/distortion Make sure research provides support/background for your argument Narrow it down Develop a solid thesis statement Room to develop an argument Brainstorm Clusters Mind Maps Concept Maps Decision Trees Free-writing Will help determine where to look for info Journals Subject-specific databases Field-specific databases Ex. Writing a essay on an aspect of Hamlet You think about characters and interesting situations Ophelia’s speech and subsequent death What is her psychological state? How was she perceived by others in the play? Does her situation illustrate something essential about being human? You discover her situation reinforces the overall themes of death, madness, murder, and betrayal These will help you discover search terms and focus your search More brainstorming List: Terms Ideas Concepts Focus on subcategories Avoid worn-out subjects When conducting preliminary research, find the major issues that have been in discussions about the topic Who started the research? Who is for it? Who is against it? Why? What are the issues? Start researching author names, keywords, and topics Does it have heavy advertising? Is it biased? Is it reputable? How old is it? Are there references? Source Description Refereed Journals Academic journals require all articles to be reviewed by experts in the field. Require revisions and reject articles in they don’t meet standards. Books and Serial Depends on the publisher if they evaluate, judge, and critique Monographs the material. Series sponsored by an Common in the humanities. association/reputable group Wikis and collaborations Variable quality. They can be extremely good and reliable, but the quality, quantity, depth, and breadth will be variable. There can be bias, distortion, or gaps in information. Weblogs and Variable quality. Approach with care and extreme caution. personal/corporate websites Source Description Summaries, overviews, PinkMonkey.com, Cliff Notes, Wikipedia is a point of and study guides departure. Use them to gain an appreciation of your subject and orient yourself. They can be very imprecise and inaccurate. Student postings, p2p Excellent to see how students write papers. Can serve as downloads of notes, texts, guidelines or cautionary tales. etc.. Organize so you have a sense of where they will go in your paper Keep your primary thesis in mind Points you are trying to make Support with evidence from research findings and articles Keep track of references by creating an “electronic notebook” Use appropriate style MLA, APA Write a one-sentence overview/summary of the article How it relates to topic 9. Update your outline Re-examine your thesis Does each paragraph help support your thesis? How does your research fit? Determine where you have gaps or redundancies 10. Fill in the gaps List where you need additional support for your argument Map where you need to fill gaps Where your argument needs additional support Questia http://www.questia.com/ Database which contains books, journal articles, magazines, and newspaper articles in the humanities and social sciences. Highbeam http://www.highbeam.com/ Journals, magazines, and newspapers in humanities, social sciences, education, health and science. Find Articles http://www.findarticles.com/ Great database with a few free articles. The journals include business, humanities, social sciences, health, and science. Pathfinder.com http://www.pathfinder.com/ Portal for Time, Discover, Fortune, Sunset, Parenting, People, and more. Archived articles have a cost, but it’s a great source for current events and issues. Proquest http://www.proquest.com/ Databases of articles tailored to meet the needs of students/faculty. Resources are targeted and easy to use. EBSCO Information Services http://www.ebsco.com/ Excellent coverage of interdisciplinary journals. Citations, keywords, and publication data can help you obtain articles from other sources. Ovid http://www.ovid.com/ Vast array of databases and information products. LexisNexis http://www.lexis-nexis.com/ Best-known for its database on legal publications. Has extensive holdings in newspapers. Excellent source for information and syndicated content. Wilson Web Databases http://www.hwwilson.com/ Includes journals and publishers that are not always easy to find. Particularly in business and agriculture. JSTOR: The Scholarly Journal Archive http://www.jstor.com/ Amazing collection of humanities and interdisciplinary journals. Older journals are being digitized and included, resulting in less reliance on interlibrary loan. Emerald Full-Text http://www.uwp.edu/departments/library/journals/databases/emerald.htm/ This tends to have a business and management orientation. The journals are excellent, and the interface is easy to use. Project Muse http://muse.jhu.edu/ This database originates out of John Hopkins University. The articles are full-text, and they cover interesting journals in the humanities.
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