LHS Library Research Guide

  • Whether you have been assigned a short report or a major term paper, consider the following guidelines and questions as you go about finding information. This research guide is based upon The Big6 Information Problem Solving Skills by Michael Eisenberg and Robert Berkowitz.

      • What is your research topic? Is the topic too broad or narrow?
      • See suggestions for topics at CQ ResearcherOpposing Viewpoints in Context, Points of View Reference Center and Idea Generator.
      • What is the format? (written report, oral presentation or multimedia component)
      • How long or extensive must your final product be?
      • What type of information will you locate? (current news, historical background, statistics, opinion, interviews, graphs, maps, images, etc.)
      • What sources are suitable for your topic? Consider books, reference materials, magazines, vertical file, AV materials, Internet and online databases.
      • The growth of the World Wide Web has been phenomenal but without quality control. The evaluation of Internet sites becomes an essential part of the research process. You may not always be able to use a detailed Web site evaluation checklist, but you should at least screen Internet material using a few basic criteria. The acronym ACT reminds you to consider:
        • Authority: What are the credentials of the author or organization responsible for the Web site?
        • Content: Does the site provide accurate, relevant, unbiased material?
        • Timeliness: Is information current with site updates undertaken regularly?
      • Where can you actually find your sources? (LHS Library, Willard Public Library, interlibrary loan, Internet from school or home)
      • What keywords and phrases can you list to describe your topic?
      • Watch an overview of Boolean searching.
      • View a demonstration on concept mapping.
      • Find information within your sources.
        • Use indexes and table of contents for print material.
        • Use subject list or keyword searching within electronic databases.
        • Keep track of search attempts and strategies by using the LHS Library Search Record form.
      • Use the Notebook feature of EasyBib to organize notes, keep track of quoted vs. paraphrased material, and associate notes with specific sources from your Bibliography. 
      • Begin to compose a draft of your research project from the Outline view of EasyBib.
      • In addition to a written paper, alternate assignment products may be acceptable 
      • Be sure to review your assignment requirements to make certain you have not left out any important step.
      • Judge the final product. (Effectiveness)
      • Judge the information-solving process. (Efficiency)
      • See English 11 Research Packet for evaluation guidelines.


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