Research strategies resources

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  • Effectively utilizing online databases

    Having strong, credible evidence is a critical element of making an argument. However, when you search an online database and get thousands, or even millions of results, it can be hard to know how to narrow down your results and find exactly what you’re looking for.

    Effectively utilizing online databases

  • Evaluating references using the C.R.A.A.P. test

    There comes a time in every author’s life when he must decide whether a source is worthy enough to be included in his masterpiece of an essay. Luckily for us, the students at California’s Chico University took a break from partying and developed an effective way to evaluate a source’s credibility. Appropriately acronymed C.R.A.A.P., this five-step test assesses the reliability of potential sources, and makes it easy to decide whether or not to include a source.

    Evaluating references using the C.R.A.A.P. test

  • Guide to writing research papers

    Get tips on how to approach writing a research paper, including things to avoid and how to structure your paper.

    Guide to writing research papers

  • Hunting down sources

    The research essay can be scary when you are struggling to find resources. Many are frustrated by the search for “high quality” sources. Here are some places that you should consider looking into when researching for your essay.

    Hunting down sources

  • Note taking

    Learn a range of strategies for taking notes and understand what you should look for when taking notes during reading assignments and class lectures.

    Note taking

  • Reading strategies

    Reading, like writing, is an active process. Reading involves three major phases: previewing, reading, and reviewing. Participating in all three stages of the reading process can help you engage with and retain the information you read.

    Reading strategies

  • Refining searches using Boolean operators

    When searching online databases, you often get too many or too few results. Identifying keywords or phrases and then connecting them using Boolean operators (AND, OR, and NOT), along with the other tools in this guide, can help you narrow, expand, and/or refine your searches to find relevant, useful sources.

    Refining searches using Boolean operators

  • Source strengths & weaknesses

    With the Internet’s ever-expanding repository of information, appraising potential sources has become an increasingly important skill. Evaluating strengths and weaknesses can be a useful tactic to assess potential sources.

    Source strengths & weaknesses