The following guest post on research methods is by Kaitlyn Podsiki.
Research is an intricate part to any school term paper. As you begin your quest for finding the perfect research method for you, keep in mind that while the library and traditional books may be a thing of the past, it is still one of the most reliable methods of research. They have been added to however with the implementation of the internet and mobile apps that add to the available research methods. Find the method that is right for you, make sure your sources are credible and you will find success in your school term paper.
One of the newest tools to be introduced into research is that of mobile apps. Historical events, documents and people can all be found through apps for the iPhone, iPad, iPod an even Android devices. With the mobile apps, you can look up virtually anything you want without using a computer. No internet access? That is ok with the mobile apps since with apps you can use your cellular data to access the information that you are looking for. There are many apps that will make great additions to your current study guides. You can choose from consolidated historical apps that include both world and US or you can choose a time period or location. Search the App Store for what you are looking for and the available apps will pop up. Should you be on a tight budget, there are hundreds of free apps in all platforms that will help you with your research methods.
Kindle devices and apps are the newest addition to the study guide of many students today. With the Kindle, you can search a large database of books including historical books that you can use for research projects in a range of classes from the high school level all the way up through college. These books tend to be the same books found in the library but without the time consumption of looking through hundreds of shelves for books. With the E-Readers you can also search through multiple books and sections to get to what you are looking for easily and effortlessly as opposed to the hassle of carrying multiple books and glancing page after page.
Using the Internet for Research
There are many places on the internet that may look like they know what they are talking about but you need to be aware of what is fluff and what is actual information. Sites that are reputable tend to have domains like .gov, .edu and .org as opposed to wikepedia and other sites where anyone can contribute. You want to be sure that the information you are receiving are based on facts and that only those who are considered experts on the topic have wrote. Some .com sites have great information, including the websites for the History Channel, and totallyhistory.com.
While it is not good practice, there are some internet sources that do not fact check their sources. They tend to hire writers for cheap who do not put the time and effort into researching the topics so they just wing it. Sites like these will often provide information that is completely false, giving you false hope that you know what you are researching.
All schools have a library on campus for you to study. You can go to the library at any time during their business hours and use the on site computer to search for a specific book to get its location in the library. If you want to access the library after business hours, some now offer a website where you can view the books on they have in an online or E-Book format. The library remains the most traditional way to research for a term paper or examination and it also provides the most reliable sources.
Research is the most important factor within any class. There is no perfect way to study although once you find the easiest way for you, it will get easier. While some people find research easier through the internet, others will find the more traditional route to work the best for them. Whatever way you want to conduct your research, be sure you are using a reputable source for all of your information.
Kaitlyn Podsiki is a teacher, blogger, and cheerleading coach in Seattle Washington. She enjoys helping students reach their potential in the classroom and on the court.
Text Copyright 2012 Kaitlyn Podsiki. Image by Muffet on Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.