INT 101 Bullington

by Adam Griggs — last modified 2017-08-30T12:50:47-04:00

This guide introduces you to conducting research at Mercer University, and contains information and sources to help you complete your research assignment. If you need any further help, please contact Adam Griggs via or at 478-301-2934, or ask a librarian at the library desk. 


In Class Activity

Divide the news resources into the following categories: Fake News, Partisan News, Credible News, and Other.

News 1     News 2     News 3    News 4    News 5     News 6     News 7     News 8    News 9     News 10    

News 11   News 12    News 13    News 14    News 15   News 16     News 17    News 18

 

Evaluating Sources with the CRAP test

PolitiFact's Guide to Fake News


Background Reading and Forming a Topic

When you first start working on an assignment, it can be very helpful to spend a few minutes thinking about your topic and where you want to go with the assignment. For some topics, you might need to start by doing pre-research, where you look for general background information on your topic to learn a little more. This background information then helps you focus your search and choose a topic to write about. Try some of the following strategies if you're not sure where to start:

  • If you don't have a topic in mind, try looking at CQ Researcher or TOPICsearch, or just looking at recent news, to generate ideas
  • Try to imagine what words someone answering your research question might use
  • Look up synonyms and related topics or phrases
  • Try working with a partner – getting a different perspective is often invaluable
  • Identify any common misunderstandings or related topics that you DON’T want in your results

Scholarly and Popular Articles

(For more information, see this guide)

Most sources of information fall into one of these two categories. Here's how they're different:

"Scholarly" (aka "academic" or "peer-reviewed") periodicals are usually published by an association, institution, or scholarly press. They contain articles written by scholars, professors, and researchers in a particular discipline, and are intended for other scholars and researchers in the field. Articles published in these journals are sent to other experts in the field to be reviewed prior to publication.

“Popular” periodicals are publications that are intended for the general public, and whose main purpose is usually entertainment. Articles in these publications are generally written by paid journalists or columnists, and reviewed by an editor.

Reasons to use Scholarly Sources:

  • They are generally the most highly valued source of information in academic circles
  • They are written by and reviewed by experts in the field
  • The information they contain critically examines some aspect of the world

Reasons to use Popular Sources:

  • They are easier to understand because they are written for the general public
  • They are more likely to contain information on recent events
  • They can give you an insight into what type of information is available to the general populace on a subject

Recommended Resources

The resources here are recommended for finding recent news articles and op-ed pieces.

Nexis Uni (Formerly LexisNexis Academic) — Nexis Uni™ features more than 15,000 news, business and legal sources from LexisNexis—including U.S. Supreme Court decisions dating back to 1790—with an intuitive interface that offers quick discovery across all content types, personalization features such as Alerts and saved searches and a collaborative workspace with shared folders and annotated documents.

Newspaper Source (EBSCO) — Provides current information from daily feeds from the Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News and Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service Newspaper Source as well as cover to cover coverage of The Christian Science Monitor, the 1996 Pulitzer Prize Winner for International Reporting, and coverage from national and international titles, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Hong Kong Standard, The Jakarta Post, and Jordan Today. 

International Newsstream (ProQuest) — Provides the most recent news content outside of the US and Canada, with archives which stretch back decades featuring newspapers, newswires, and news sites in active full-text format. Includes more than 660 of the world's top newspapers, including The Times (London), The Bangkok Post, El Norte, Financial Times, The Guardian, Jerusalem Post, South China Morning Post, The Daily Telegraph, Asian Wall Street Journal, and the BBC Monitoring series of publications.

ProQuest Newspapers — Provides full-text access to five major national newspapers. Coverage includes full-text articles but not advertisements, illustrations, or photographs. 

Discovery — an EBSCO service allowing you to search multiple databases and the library catalog simultaneously. This service is made available to us through GALILEO, Georgia Library Learning Online, an initiative of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.


Citing Sources

MLA Style Guide - created and maintained by the Purdue OWL, this guide covers the basics of citing in MLA style.

Ask a Librarian for more help! Librarians at the research desk are happy to help you cite your sources.