Tips for Students: How to Improve Your Online Research

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When it’s thesis time, students scramble to the nearest library to get a hold of online databases and download a bunch of journals that they can use for their paper. Of course, it’s normal that people would prefer to get their sources online like filecollective.org because it’s easier to do and more practical than getting books. The only problem with online research is that there are a lot of unreliable sources. That said, you need to be good at screening your research and only using the ones you need and the ones that can be relied on. Here are some tips on how to do that:

Look for Sources in Journal Articles

It’s pretty common to use journal articles as sources for theses. However, journal articles can be incomplete at times because the writer is just basing his or her work on another primary source. So if you want something more complete, go check the bibliography of the journal article, you’ll see a lot of the original sources there that are more complete.

Make Use of Academic Databases

The use of academic databases in your school is a part of your tuition fee – don’t waste it! The best thing about these academic databases is that they provide a wide array of journals that you’d normally have to pay for.

Get Sources from Wikipedia

When we say get sources from Wikipedia, we don’t mean use Wikipedia as a source. If you do that, your professor might give you a failing grade. One of the techniques that we suggest how to find copyright-free academic files online is to visit Wikipedia. Below each Wikipedia page is a bibliography that contains the sources that the writers used to make the Wikipedia post. While you can’t use the Wikipedia post per se, you can use the sources down there.

Play Around with Keywords

If you find yourself stuck not being able to look for sources, it’s most probably because you’re not using the right keywords. Keywords are really important when it comes to looking for sources because certain keywords render certain results. So if you’re not happy with your search results, try switching up some words to find something that’s more relevant.

Ask a Librarian

The job of a librarian is to assist those who need help when it comes to finding sources. Librarians these days are well versed in looking for both print materials and online materials. They will know exactly what you’re looking for once they enter the library database. They will know if you will be able to find print sources, online materials, and much more.

If it’s your first time to make a thesis or a research paper, then you have to familiarize yourself with research. The best way to do that is to look for them yourself and start practicing. Of course, it does help if you have some tips up your sleeve. The tips that we’ve mentioned above are all tried, tested, and trusted by both students and academic practitioners alike.

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