Research

Research Databases

These databases can be accessed anywhere in your school or from home by asking your school librarian for the user name and password.

Database Trials

Below is the Database Trial schedule. For each month it includes a database for Elementary/Middle School and a database for High School. Prior to the trial period, Abigail will email everyone with the username and password info. If you would like to suggest other databases, extend a trial, or begin a subscription, please contact Abigail. Click on the database names below to redirect to the trial login during the trial period.

May

Credo is a great product priced at $455 for schools under 1000 students and $695 for 1000 and above. The content is made up of an aggregation of over 400 ebooks and some other web-based content but when you do a search it pulls everything together for you sort of like a Britannica or WorldBook. What’s great is that you can have all the ebook records loaded into Follett so students can search for the books in the catalog and then read them on the Credo platform (and of course the books are multi-user and don’t need to be checked out). Another nice feature is that they will link to your other database subscriptions so that if a student searches for an article on Climate Change, Credo will pull up not only their own content but links to specific articles in your JSTOR, Gale, or EBSCO (etc.) databases. There is a great section called SKILL that provides all sorts of research guides and assessments along with videos and activities (active until 5/31).

Drama Online  is a collection of resources for both English and Drama departments, consisting of  full-text plays,  audio and videos of many performances, and educational  ebooks about literary criticism and theater craft. It has an impressive collection of both modern and classic works from various world-renowned production companies like the BBC. One of the useful and clever  features is that in the “Play Tools” section you can highlight a character’s name and it will tell you how many words they speak over the course of a script (active through 6/14).

 

How to Research

Learning how to research increases critical thinking, helps prepare for higher education and the workforce, and drastically improves the overall quality of your work.

 

Research Guides
CRLS Research Guide Basic Steps in the Research Process
ipl2 for Teens A+ Research & Writing: Step by Step
Kentucky Virtual Library How to Do Research
Duke University Libraries Research Guide

Evaluating Your Sources

Not everything we find in print and electronic format are appropriate sources of information. Three examples that illustrate this point are:

 

1.) Inappropriate Types of Sources
If you were writing a paper about Mount Kilimanjaro, you would not cite an article about pitcher R. A. Dickey’s recent expedition in Sports Illustrated.
2.) Obsolete Information
A book published in 1980 about laser surgery will not provide you with sufficiently useful data on this procedure the way it is implemented today.
3.) Misleading or Amateur Authors
Some people think they are experts when in reality they are not qualified to publish certain materials. Other people purposely publish misleading and/or false information in the name of a political or other type of motivation.

How do we avoid using these improper sources? Train yourself to question everything you read, view and hear. Try exploring any of these links to see why and how you should be critical:
Purdue University Online Writing Lab Evaluating Sources: Overview
University of California Berkeley Library Critical Evaluation of Resources
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Writing Center Evaluating Print Sources
Cornell University Library Critically Analyzing Information Sources
University of Georgia Online Library Learning Center Unit 9: Evaluating Sources

Citing Your Sources

Citing your sources or references is of the utmost importance- how else can you prove that the information you are using is true?

 

The two main styles of citation used in schools are MLA and APA format. Typically, every school district only uses one of these two styles. Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) provides a wealth of information about both APA and MLA formatting:

APA Formatting and Style Guide
MLA Formatting and Style Guide
MLA Citation Basics, 7th Edition (.pdf)

Still a little confused about where that comma goes or what needs to be capitalized? Enlist the aid of these free online citation generators:
CiteLighter

Points of View

Biography Reference

Academic Research

Science Reference

Explora Primary

Explora Secondary

Primary Magazines

Middle Magazines

Business Guides

History Reference

Novelist K-8

Novelist

Literary Reference

Teacher Reference

Reference Latina

These resources are provided by the State Library of New Jersey to members of the BELS Consortium