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7.5.2: Search Your Topic

  • Page ID
    170491
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    Exercise \(\PageIndex{1}\)

    Search Library Databases

    1. Open the EVC Library database Opposing Viewpoints in Context and choose a subject category.
    2. Write down the category you selected.
    3. Write down one topic in this category that interested you.
    4. Once you click on the topic, you will see different types of sources in this database. Choose References, which will give you background information on different aspects of your topic. Read a few articles and write down some particular areas you could focus on. Is there a debate question within your topic that could help you focus your research? Write it down.
    5. Go back to your topic page and choose Viewpoint articles. These articles take a stance on the issue and can help you formulate an argument on your topic. If you find a useful article, download or save it so you will have easy access to it later. Use the database citation tool to write down the MLA citation for the article.

    Search Open Access Databases

    Repeat the process you used in the Library Databases section above using an Open Access Database to find articles about your topic, such as Google Scholar or PLOS. If you can't find an article in one of these open access databases, choose a different EVC Library database and repeat the process of finding articles to help you formulate your argument. Bookmark or download them and record their MLA citation.

    Evaluate Your Sources

    Once you've found at least three articles, evaluate them by answering the following questions. You'll use the information in your answers when you summarize your sources for your next assignment, the annotated bibliography.

    • Authorship & Authority: Who has written and sponsored the information? Is the author an expert? Is the organization respected? Is the organization for-profit, non-profit, educational?
    • Currency: What discipline is addressed and does it require currency? Is the currency of the article appropriate?
    • Relevance: Is this information at an appropriate level for college research? Explain.
    • Accuracy: Are the facts and/or research cited (look for a reference list or links to credible sources of information) and do they come from credible authors/institutions? Are there issues with spelling or grammar?
    • Purpose & Objectivity: Was the information written to inform/educate, sell a product/make money, entertain or persuade? Does the information presented seem objective or bias?
    • Review the evaluation criteria and your findings above. Is this article credible and appropriate to use in a college research paper? Explain.