Some students think there is nothing easier than doing online research. Now that the internet has become an integral part of our existence, few learners spend time in libraries and archives when collecting information necessary for a research paper, report, or any other type of academic writing. Still, practice shows that many high school and college students don’t know where to start looking for quality materials to aid them in the research process.
Chances are you also often find yourself jumping from one website to another in search of appropriate information. And even though conducting internet research implies sifting through facts and perusing different sources of information, it’s always good to have a certain action plan in mind and be aware of effective methods of obtaining the required information.
Below are some necessary tips provided by expert writers from RapidEssay. Follow these recommendations to develop critical online research skills and become a more efficient student.
Be familiar with terms
One big mistake many students make is ignoring unfamiliar terms that they might need in their internet research. Say, you were assigned an essay on Schelling’s idealism in your Philosophy class. The term ‘idealism’ sounds very familiar to you. And so does the Schelling name. Lots of students tend to start searching for information on Schelling’s idealism right away without bothering to figure out what actually distinguishes this philosopher’s views from others of their ilk.
So, you will definitely want to begin your research quest by familiarising yourself with the essential terminology and concepts you need to search for. Otherwise, you won’t be able to pick the most appropriate information for your research.
It’s not a secret that using the right keywords is actually the key to successful internet research. Your query should be as concise and to the point as possible. At the same time, you need to make sure your search term covers the area you’re investigating. You need to be careful with what you’re typing into your search box not to end up with too generic or irrelevant information that won’t benefit your research in any way.
Attempt to form keywords, terms, or phrases that constitute your research topic or describe it. Remember to place the most relevant and thus important search terms first. Should you require to narrow your search or make it more specific, try surrounding your search phrase with quotation marks. By doing so, you’ll order your internet search engine to show only those results where the search terms appear as an exact phrase.
Use the right internet search engines
Google is the most popular and widely used internet search engine, which goes a long way in helping millions of students gather important information for their academic papers. Still, despite this engine’s immense popularity, teachers encourage their students not to rely heavily on Google.
There are lots of other reputable and academically approved search engines that may come in handy for your research. Google Scholar is a great place to look for high-quality, peer-review articles on a variety of subjects. Microsoft Academic is another great search tool capable of pulling content from millions of scholarly databases. Just like its Google counterpart, Microsoft Academic enables students to search for quality content using a wide variety of search filters for your convenience.
There are also many other reliable scholarly engines, including:
- Educational Resources Information Center
You also would be well-advised to use different search tools and databases when researching your topics. This will help you achieve the best overall search results within the shortest possible time. What’s more, using your favourite scholarly search engine in conjunction with other tools will go a long way toward helping you verify the information and obtain more objective results.
When conducting your internet research, be sure to use only reliable websites, whose domains don’t arouse any suspicion. Identify who is responsible for the website and make sure this organisation can be trusted. Try to find out if the source you’re planning to use in your research comes from an expert writer. Is the information backed up by evidence? Is it possible to verify the accuracy of statements and facts? This all means you might need to spend additional time assessing a chosen website’s reliability. Still, your efforts will definitely pay off in the long run.
Though searching on the web is a great way to gather important information on an assigned topic, you won’t want to limit your research to the Net resources. It would be a great idea to turn to tried-and-tested printed materials that can be found in your college library.
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