Putting It Together: Finding and Evaluating Sources

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Now that you have learned how to find and evaluate sources, you will be a much more confident and capable researcher as you approach research projects in the future.

Most of the skills you learned will be applied in academic settings, but remember that a firm knowledge of how to find and evaluate sources is also very helpful in everyday life.

Remember the example at the beginning of the module about you talking to your vegan friend Marnie? Imagine that you had that conversation with Marnie, and she gave you a lot of helpful information about veganism, but you want to continue the research on your own. With your newfound skills, you could now:

  • Search for a scholarly source on the health effects of a vegan diet to see what the experts in the field are saying.
  • Look up the website of a vegan organization that Marnie mentioned to evaluate whether they are credible and reliable.
  • Successfully use related terms you learned from Marnie (like “plant based”) to broaden your search on the topic.

Keep in mind that, just like any other skill, becoming a good researcher takes practice. These activities helped you begin and hopefully made you more comfortable with research, and you will only add to your skills with each successive research project you undertake.

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