Today our class was pleased to have the special treat of enjoying the fine instruction of our wonderful librarian, Meridene Lindsey. Meridene gave us a crash course on research, all of which you need to know in order to complete our current assignment. Basically, it all boils down to following:
- To find articles from traditional print sources (magazines, journals, newspapers) online, log on to the Pioneer Online Library , use the username and password she gave us (ask me if you forgot), and select the part of the library for K-12 Students. Once there, you’ll have the choice of several different databases. (A database is just a collection of articles. Most databases are limited by publication types or subject matter.) The two databases you’ll be most interested in are EBSCO and SIRS. Both of these databases have good keyword search functions. So (ghost-story people) if, for example, you’re looking for an article about why people tend to see dead family members, you could type in the words “family ghost” or something like that and you could pull up a bunch of relevant articles.
- Websites can also be good sources of information, but much more scrutiny is required to determine whether or not the site is credible. Meridene pointed out the importance of the URL (is it a .edu or .org address, most of which are more trustworthy than .com); and she told us to look for an author or sponsoring organization listed, whose credentials you could verify.
- Library websites are great places to find relevant books. The best way to find good books about your topic is to search by “subject.” Often, when you locate one book targeted to your subject, other books around it on the shelf will also be relevant.
So, that was the gist of it. I couldn’t hope to do true justice to Meridene’s wisdom and vim in delivering these remarks, but I would like to thank her for the fine instruction.
Students: Collect your interviews, then look over them and decide on a research focus. Friday will be a workday for you in the computer lab and you’ll be able to use all the techniques listed above to locate high-quality materials.