Madison College Libraries has produced many guides that aid the student research process. Consult the guides below for more detailed information on the hows and whys of college-level research.
Pirsig, R. M. (1974). Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values. New York, NY: Random House.
According to a report on how college students do research, this is what students have the most trouble with. Here's the graph:
Head, A. J., PhD, & Eisenberg, M. B., PhD. (2010, November 1). Truth Be Told: How College Students Evaluate and Use Information in the Digital Age. Retrieved May 3, 2016, from http://projectinfolit.org/images/pdfs/pil_fall2010_survey_fullreport1.pdf
Let's say you are trying to argue against hand-held texting while driving. However, in your research you find this summary of research done by University of Utah psychologist David Strayer that found:
So if the safe operation of a car is the core motivation for your argument, you might have to pivot your thesis and research to examine all the aspects of cell phones, handfree or otherwise, and the extent to which they distract the driver.
Help Online With Library Education & Research
Besides tens of thousands of print titles, we also provide access to thousands of E-books. One of the best places to start your research is to use one of several hundred reference e-books in Credo Reference:
Articles are especially good for more detailed, specific research. Our databases provide online access to tens of thousands of publications.
Especially when you use library databases for your research, some of articles you discover will likely be 'scholarly'. Most of the time this means that those who have conducted research in their field have published their findings in an academic journal. The most credible type of journals are those that have published articles following a rigorous 'peer-review' process. In this case the 'peers' are other experts in the field.
"Ethical Theory and Moral Practice: An International Forum is a double blind peer-reviewed journal which aims to publish the best work produced in all fields of ethics. It welcomes high quality submissions regardless of the tradition or school of thought from which they derive." (About this journal from Springer Publishing)
is to synthesize previous research and scholarship with your ideas on the subject. Therefore, you should feel free to use other persons' words, facts, and thoughts in your research paper, but the material you borrow must not be presented as if it were your own creation. When you write your research paper, remember that you must document everything that you borrow--not only direct quotations and paraphrases but also information and ideas."
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th ed. New York: MLA, 2009. 55. Print.
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