Gathering Sources


  • You may want to open a http://del.icio.us/ account for quick, online storage of your bookmarks.
  • See Bookmarking from Connected Classroom if you are unfamiliar with this tool.
  • Zotero (an extension only on Firefox) helps you collect, manage, and cite your research sources.
  • You may also want to open an iGoogle account--do you have gmail? Google Reader?
  • Use the correct format.
  • See recommendations for MLA
  • See this link for Notetaking forms and sites.
  • Pathfinders will help you to plan your research and carry it out effectively.

General Considerations as suggested by http://www.newtrier.k12.il.us/academics/english/research_guide/step06.php
  • Begin with a general encyclopedia for background information and consider the bibliography for other authors and sources.
  • Check the table of contents and the index of the source to identify the sections that pertain to your topic.
  • Note the copyright date to see that the source is recent. For many topics there may be developments that an older source may not address. However, an older source can provide important background information.
  • Use a bibliography from a current source (usually found at the back). It may suggest other resources for further investigation. Determine the reliability of your source. Keep in mind that some periodicals and Internet sites may distort or oversimplify information. Be sensitive to the writer's possible bias. Generally, scholarly journals are careful to document information and encourage responsible scholarship from their contributing authors.
  • Investigate key words found in background reading, and look for new ones in other sources.
  • Determine relevance to thesis. To what extent does this source address your research question?
  • Maintain accurate bibliographic information.
  • Use a variety of sources, such as
  1. reference works (IST library online catalog, subject searching from online databases )
  2. books (IST library online catalog, Google Books , Google Scholar
  3. audio-visual materials
  4. periodicals (Student Resource Center ,and other online databases)
  5. internet web sites (Choose the Best Search for your Information will help you locate the best sites)
  6. interviews with authorities on the topic**