Finding material without getting lost

MCT Campus

It is important to give credit to the sources used. A good site to use for a MLA formatted bibliography is Use parenthetical citations to acknowledge ideas or facts used that are not your own, identifying the sources from which the information came.

Whether it is a research paper or presentation, searching for information on a specific topic can be challenging. But, with the right method and a little bit of practice, this can become easier.

There are various tips to know when researching a topic.

First, get some background knowledge. This is preliminary research to ensure that the chosen topic is a good one.

“Make sure that there are a variety of credible sources available to use and that the topic is not too broad or narrow. The information should also be interesting and something that most people don’t already know,” teacher Mrs. Beth LeBlanc said.

Then, figure out where you will look for the information needed. Good places to start include references such as dictionaries or encyclopedias, newspapers and magazines, and books.

Think about keywords and search terms that relate to your topic. Consider any limitations, such as time or place. Make sure to check your spelling.

Next, you can start researching. Try to start Internet searches with a library or educational search engine. When looking at different sites, start with the most recent and work backwards.

“Keep note of which resources you use. This will come in handy when you make your bibliography,” teacher Mr. Andrew Ovington said.

Another tip is to look at the bibliographies and list of references at the end of websites, journal articles, or textbooks. Those may provide further information on your topic.

Evaluate the sources you use. Usually any educational or government sites are reliable sources to use. When finding information, the material gathered is typically accurate if you come across it in three different sources.

“Also check the credibility of the authors before using a source. Take note of any bias in the information presented,” Ovington said.

After collecting enough information, remember to list all the sources used. This can be included in a works cited page or bibliography. If you need any help, ask a teacher or librarian.