Thursday, April 26, 2012

Useful Research Tips for College Students

Being a college student, you have to do a lot of research for a variety of subjects. If you know the basic tips to perform a good research, your job would be much easier and quicker too.

To help you speed up and improve the research process, here are some tips to help you find, organize, and use the information you need to put together a decent paper.

  • Think about the keywords related to your topic. Most of the students run to Wikipedia for all the research. However you should only take a start of your research from Wikipedia. Search for your keywords in the Wikipedia pages and then browse the links you find on each page. Follow the suggested resource at the end of each page. This way you can get a general overview of your topic. Remember your professors won’t be much impressed if you cite Wikipedia as your resource.

  • When you start your search, the best place to look for is the online link for the e-library or any other online resource your professor has given. Don’t go to Google, Bing or any other search engine before going to the links recommended by your professor. These links are often found at your school library's Web page and have been carefully selected by your professors for relevance, level of depth, and suitability for your particular course.

  • If you haven’t heard about WorldCat, you are missing a lot. It is one of best research resources where you can find data about anything and everything. It’s free and has more than 10,000 libraries. Check it out today and you would be impressed.

  • If you learn about the shortcuts of performing search action, your job would be easier and quicker too. Some of them are:
o Use wild-card characters like a question mark (?), pound sign (#), or asterisk (*) when you know only the first few letters of a word or when you want to find all the words that start with a certain string of letters.

o Use the Boolean ‘AND’ operator (typically AND or +) to limit the results of a search, and the ‘OR’ operator (OR or -) to expand the topic.

  • Consider going to your college library if you haven’t done it yet. Libraries can help you in your research in incredibly. Most of the librarians are experienced and they can assist you in your research keeping in mind the information you have gathered online.