Published on January 28, 2008
Information: Information What do you need to know? Why do you need the information and at what level?: Why do you need the information and at what level? Do you have to write an essay? Do you just need a quick answer? Are you researching an in-depth project? How far back do you need to search?: How far back do you need to search? Are you just looking for up to date information? Or do you need ‘historical’ background material? What do you know already?: What do you know already? Make some notes about what, if anything, you already know – this will show you the gaps you need to fill and what type of information you need. Where does information come from?: Where does information come from? Information can come from virtually anywhere -- personal experiences, books, articles, expert opinions, encyclopedias, the Internet -- and the type of information you need will change depending on the question you are trying to answer. Don’t just use one source: Don’t just use one source You can develop more convincing arguments by not relying too heavily on one source of information. Choosing a variety of sources can be an excellent way to support your own ideas as well as providing different points of view on your topic. Where do you start searching?: Where do you start searching? Sometimes the hardest part about research is just getting started. You need to have a Search Strategy Search Strategy: Search Strategy What is it and why do I need one? What is a search strategy?: What is a search strategy? Your search strategy is your plan of action It helps you find the information you need to complete your assignments. It makes you think about your project. It helps you work out what information you need, and how you're going to find it. What do I do first?: What do I do first? Look at your essay or project title and make sure you understand it. If you are unsure of any of the words, use a dictionary – the Quick Ref section on each Subject Floor of the Library will have general dictionaries and some related to the subjects on that floor. If you are not in the Library you can use an online reference service: Oxford Reference Online Now identify your keywords: Now identify your keywords As an example, here is an essay title: Discuss the way multicultural issues are portrayed in the media Here the important words to look at are multicultural and media Inspiration: Inspiration Analyse your topic and expand your ideas: Write down your topic Write everything you can think of about your topic Include what you already know as well as what you need to find out Finding inspiration: Finding inspiration Community Asian Politics Imam Tabloid Soundbite Mosque Media Cultural perception News Asylum-seeker Security Race Press Television Stereotyping Afro-Caribbean Vox pop Discuss the way multicultural issues are portrayed in the media Mind map – organise your ideas: Mind map – organise your ideas Organise your ideas by forming connections between them using a Mind map. Decide on your main idea and use colour and graphics to expand it. Take a large blank sheet of paper and some coloured pens. Write your topic in the centre of your paper. Branch out lines from the centre so that each line has a key idea on each line. Example of a mind map: Example of a mind map Find out more about mind maps: Find out more about mind maps Search the library catalogue for The mind map book by Tony Buzan This will give you more information about mind mapping and its uses Five questions to ask: Five questions to ask Who, what, where, why, how are powerful questions to check your ideas Who sets the agenda for the way multicultural issues are handled by the media? What precisely is “multiculturalism”? Where would you find key examples of multiculturalism portrayed in the media? Why is the media treatment of this topic important? How does the use of language influence our perceptions of multicultural issues? What type of information do you need?: What type of information do you need? an overview on the topic so you can identify key issues? key quotes to back up your arguments? a definition so you understand your main concept? a review of recent debates? the latest research? Not all information is created equal : Not all information is created equal Recognise the difference between fact and opinion, objective and subjective information. A newspaper editorial might give you some insight into the current debate on the issue but you won’t get an authoritative overview of latest research. Start searching : Start searching You understand your project title You have identified your keywords You’ve worked out what you already know and what you need to know You know what types of information you need You’re ready to start searching Sources of Information: Sources of Information Books Journals Newspapers Internet Books: Books Use the Library catalogue http://webcat.hud.ac.uk Journals: Journals What they are, how to find them and how to use them Journals: Journals Journal articles: these are good, especially for up-to-date information. They are frequently used in literature reviews because they offer a relatively concise, up-to-date format for research. Depending on the publication, these materials may be refereed or non-refereed materials. What are refereed journals?: What are refereed journals? Refereed materials are publications reviewed by "expert readers" or referees before publication. Refereed materials are also referred to as Peer Reviewed. Refereed materials assure readers that the information conveyed is reliable and timely. What about non-refereed journals?: What about non-refereed journals? Non-refereed materials such as Trade Journals or Magazines use less rigorous standards of screening prior to publication. Academic Journals: Academic Journals Magazines: Magazines Journal Contents Page: Journal Contents Page How to find journals: Via the Catalogue: How to find journals: Via the Catalogue You can search for a journal in the library catalogue by selecting either: the Journal title alphabetical option from the menu and typing the title of a journal, or the Journal keyword option and type in one or two keywords to find a journal on the subject you want webcat.hud.ac.uk Information on-line: Information on-line Access both Journals and books electronically Search by Subject On and off campus Newspapers: Newspapers 3 months of a range of newspapers in the Library Electronic access through Proquest Newsstand Information 0n-line: Information 0n-line MetaLib Log-on using your University username and password. Searching the Internet: Searching the Internet Internet: Internet Internet: the fastest-growing source of information is on the Internet. bear in mind that anyone can post information on the Internet so the quality may not be reliable the information you find may be intended for a general audience and so not be suitable for inclusion in your literature review (information for a general audience is usually less detailed) Evaluating information: Evaluating information A checklist Evaluating Internet resources: Evaluating Internet resources If you are using the Internet for your research, you will need to develop skills to evaluate the suitability of what you find. A lot of information on the Internet is unreliable and of poor quality Who has written it?: Who has written it? Is the information reliable? Is there an author and is he/she an expert? Where did their information come from? Is the author linked to an organisation/ institution/ government body etc? Can the author be contacted if necessary? Who is it for and what is it about?: Who is it for and what is it about? How much information is given? Is the information factual or opinion? How in depth is the information? Can you tell who the information is aimed at? Are there any links and are they useful and up-to-date? When was it written?: When was it written? How old is the information? Can you tell when it was last updated? Is it biased?: Is it biased? Is the site factual or is it just one person’s opinion? Is it trying to persuade you about something or advertise? Does it give you information to help you in your research or just give you one point of view? How can you check the information?: How can you check the information? Can you check who the author is? Can you follow links to other resources which say the same thing? Just because it looks good, it doesn’t mean it’s right. Intute: Intute http://www.intute.ac.uk Access to the best web resources for education and research. Information Literacy: Information Literacy An Interactive guide to research techniques and strategies http://www.hud.ac.uk/cls/infolit/ Blackboard : sign in …then click on the Library tab to access all the library resources!!!