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Ipswich High/Middle School Library Media Center

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Tips for Reliable Research

4  reasons why using databases will save you time

  1. The resources in the databases are trusted
  2. They offer pre-formatted citations you can copy and paste into your documents
  3. They are written by experts
  4. They let you do advanced (boolean) searches which gives you the power to get very precise and narrow results on your topic

Remember the CRAP test--things to consider when choosing sources

C=Currency (When was the piece created?)

R=Relevance (Does it answer your question? Do you understand it?)

A=Authority (Why do you trust the author?)

P=Purpose (Why was the piece created?)

Research Basics

Cite sources - Log in to or set up your NoodleTools account through our school library. See the librarian if you need help setting up your account.

Avoid Plagiarism | MLA Citation Style | Works Cited Examples |


Not sure how to cite your sources? See the librarian, Mrs. Chang

Good Research is:

Research is:

  • Driven by a question or problem that then guides the process.
  • Seeking information with a clear goal in mind.
  • A process, which works best when done step- by-step. The steps may need to be repeated, as the process is reiterative.
  • Collection and interpretation of data in an attempt to resolve the problem or answer the question.
  • Going beyond facts and old ideas.
  • Taking a new look at the information and taking a stand. Make sure you are including YOUR opinion in your research notes

Research is not:

  • Copying and pasting information you find through a Google search.
  • Combining a paragraph from one article with a couple of paragraphs from websites. That's plagiarism.
  • Writing a "report."
  • Rearranging facts.
  • Rewording each phrase and citing each source. That's just a summary of facts with someone else's name on them and still can be classified as plagiarism.
  • Remember, begin with a "wide net" in your search and then narrow your search results from there. You will generally find more information than with a very narrow search.
  • Don't wear "blinders" as you look for information on your topic. If you only look for specific information to answer a specific question, you may miss many opportunities to broaden your understanding of your topic.
  • Allow for surprises- you may find your views on your topic will change and take you in an entirely new direction.
  • Remember that research is searching again and again (re - search).
  • In the process of doing research, you will be looking at information that others have looked at before, trying to see something that they have not seen.

"Just Google it" video about research using Google vs. Databases