Chapter 9 Research

9.4 Chapter Review and Activities

Finding good accurate information is an important skill for doing research papers as a college student. Knowing how to find credible sources and then to evaluate whether the information from these sources is useful for your topic is paramount. Knowing how to properly reference the sources that you end up using will prevent plagiarism and will give proper credit to the applicable authors and researchers.

Key Takeaways

To find credible sources:

  • Use your college library, where you have access to research databases with academic journals, scholarly articles, and current research, and where you have access to knowledgeable librarians who can assist you with research.
  • Go to websites which are a recognized authority on your topic.
  • Use Google Scholar to search for research articles, journals etc.
  • Search for works of renowned experts in the field.
  • Use the domain name ending of the url of a website to give you clues about its reliability.
  • Avoid wikis, blogs, and public information sites that have open contributions of information and opinions by those who haven’t been screened as authorities in their fields.

To evaluate resources that you find:

  • Use the CRAP+- test. Evaluate resources for currency, reliability, authority, and purpose and point of view.
  • Look for currency in the research especially in quickly changing fields, such as science and technology.
  • Consider the authors’ education, expertise and experience.
  • Consider the host source (specific newspaper, magazine, university, etc.) and publisher to determine if they are respected and reputable.
  • Consider the intent of the resource. Is it biased? Does it have a specific objective?

Avoiding plagiarism:

  • Do not use another person’s intellectual property without giving credit.
  • Common knowledge (easily attainable information) does not need to be cited.
  • Pay attention to copyright.
  • Open Educational Resources (OERs) are freely available resources available for sharing, re-using, remixing, and adapting. They are often under a Creative Commons licence.

Referencing sources:

  • Use a consistent format for referencing throughout your paper as appropriate (MLA, APA, etc.).
  • Keep track of sources continually through the writing process.
  • You will need in-text citations (throughout your paper) as well as a Works Cited or Reference page giving detailed information about your sources (at the end of your paper).
  • Using citation generators can help keep your references organized as you write your paper.
  • Use Purdue OWL as a reference in citing different situations correctly.

Exercises: Research

Use your search skills to find the following two resources.

  1. Open Educational Resources in Canada 2015, Rory McGreal, Terry Anderson, and Dianne Conrad
  2. Effects of Climate Change on Birds, Peter O. Dunn, Anders Pape Moller

For each resource:

  • State the type of resource (e.g. video, web site, book, journal article, etc.).
  • Use the CRAP criteria to determine if each resource is a credible source. State your reasons.
  • Show how each work would be cited in both MLA and APA styles. Give an example of an in-text citation as well as how it would be cited on the Works Cited or Reference page.


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