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INT 101 Good

last modified Sep 29, 2016 11:37 AM

This guide will assist you with your research assignment. Any questions that you have about doing library research can be directed to , the librarian for this class.


In-Class Activity

Look over your assigned source (linked below) and try to determine the following:

  1. What kind of source is this? (newspaper article, book, magazine article, etc.)
  2. Who is the intended audience for this source? (general public, professionals, scholars, students, etc.)
  3. Could you use it for a college-level research paper?

Source #1     Source #2     Source #3     Source #4     Source #5     Source #6


Evaluating Sources 

Regardless of the type of source you have, there are several criteria for deciding whether or not to use it in your paper. Start with the C.R.A.P. test to do a basic evaluation:

Currency: is the information recent enough for your topic? OverThink

Relevancy: does the information relate to your topic, either directly or indirectly?

Authority: who wrote the information, and are they an authoritative source?

Purpose: what was the intent of the author when writing this information?

Once you have done a general overview of the source, you will need to do a more in-depth evaluation of the source information. At this point, you will need to do a close, critical reading of the source. Most importantly, you need to apply your own critical thinking skills: does the author's argument make sense? can you think of any counter-arguments or points they failed to consider? Do they seem to be manipulating the data in any way?

Reading Scholarly Research Articles: Since you are not experts in the field, this can be tricky. While you should certainly read the whole thing at least once, I recommend reading the article out of order:

  1. Read the abstract and introduction
  2. Look for section headers such as "results" "discussion" or "conclusion" - read these sections thoroughly
  3. Read through the rest of the article, including any tables or charts
  4. Read the introduction and conclusion again
Be sure to look up terms you don't know!

Image "OverThink" by Lori Semprevio, 2010. Used under the CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license


Suggested Resources

The resources listed below are only a starting place. Depending on your topic, you may also want to look at the subject guides to find other databases to search in. Please ask a librarian if you have any questions!

Discovery - an EBSCO service allowing you to search multiple databases and the library catalog simultaneously. It is a useful resource when you're not sure where to start, or if you're searching in multiple disciplines, but you may want to use some of the following databases, as well.

Recommended Social Science databases included in Discovery searches:

  • Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection — This is a subject-specific database that covers topics in emotional and behavioral characteristics, psychiatry & psychology, mental processes, anthropology, and observational and experimental methods. 
  • SocINDEX with Full Text — Covers all subdisciplines of sociology, including abortion, anthropology, criminology, criminal justice, cultural sociology, demography, economic development, ethnic & racial studies, gender studies, marriage & family, politics, religion, rural sociology, social psychology, social structure, social work, sociological theory, sociology of education, substance abuse, urban studies, violence, welfare, and many others. 
  • Sociological Collection — Provides information on all areas of sociology, including social behavior, human tendencies, interaction, relationships, community development, culture and social structure. 
  • PsycARTICLES  — Definitive source of searchable full text articles on current issues in psychology. 

Recommended Databases NOT searched in Discovery:

  • Research Library — This is a general database that contains resources for a wide variety of disciplines, and so is worth checking for almost any topic. 
  • Social Science Journals — This is a subject-specific database that covers many topics including addiction studies, urban studies, family studies, and international relations. 
 

Citing Sources

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

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

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

Also check your Little Bear Handbook, or you can come and check out the complete style guides at the library's circulation desk.

Ask a Librarian for more help! Librarians at the Ask Jack desk are happy to help you cite your sources or double-check your work! After hours? email

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