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Using the Internet to do Research

There’s a lot of information on almost any topic you can think of (and a lot you can’t) on the internet. Some are excellent, but some aren’t. It is, therefore, vital to be sure of the content when using internet sources. The internet has opened up extensive study opportunities.

Some of the Reasons for Assessing Internet Sources

  1. When it comes to data discovered on the Internet, there is no quality certainty: anyone can post anything.
  2. The information found on the web has not received verification for accuracy in most cases.
  3. Not all websites are equivalent to each other. They vary in quality, intent, and predisposition.
  4. Some sites have sponsors who pay to promote their goods or thoughts for the content. The data is biased, not impartial.
  5. Instead of making informed arguments, some websites voice views.
  6. Some websites are for fun, and not meant to be informative.
  7. Instead of providing credible data, some sites try to scandalize and create controversy.
  8. Some websites are old, and there is an outdated report discovered.
  9. The quality and format of data that you see on the Internet may not be suitable for scholarly use.

Internet research can either prove to be a gold mine, wealthy in knowledge and data nuggets, or a minefield littered with stretched truths and dead ends. Which of these two you’re experiencing relies on how you’re investigating, where and how you’re looking for data, and how you’re organising it when you discover it.

Here are five top tips for more straightforward, more precise, and more efficient online research.

1. Know the sources you have.

Is the site you are using the most reliable source of data? You should always ask yourself this question. Citing other sources? Is the writing objective or subjective? Is it an organisation that is credible?

2. Use your browser correctly.

Modern browsers such as Firefox are capable of installing extensions. These are browser add-ons that expand your web browser’s capacities. From word counting to quotes, these extensions do anything.

3. Organize the bookmarks you have.

It may sound obvious, but it doesn’t take a lot of time for an individual to handle their bookmarks. If you trawl through a lot of information, if you make excellent use of bookmarks, life becomes much more manageable. The most uncomplicated technique is to use the built-in bookmark manager of your browser.

4. Learn to use sophisticated methods of searching.

Effective study on the Internet relies heavily on how you search. What are your keywords? Is the wording of your search sentences as well as they might be? Are you using sophisticated search operators?

5: Don’t depend on internet content alone.

Sometimes your assignment will be to research on the net only, but usually, your instructors will expect you to use the resources of both the internet, study material and the library.

Searching for data

When you search for data, decide what you will be looking for before you begin. Doing this will assist you to concentrate your searches.

To decide what to search for:

• Write down all the keywords that describe the subject of the task. Include synonyms or combinations.
• Select the ones you believe are best to describe the subject from these keywords and define your search subject as obviously and succinctly as possible.
• Use this to ask questions.

Online research is not mere Googling or casual Web browsing.

1: Think about the topic

Think about the topic you’re investigating and find different ways to express the same idea in less than four or five words. For instance, if you’re attempting to figure out all you can about spying on the NSA; spying on the NSA is the keyword sentence you could list when you begin. You shouldn’t stop at that, though. Expand your list of keywords to discover more relevant data about the subject. For instance, you could expand your keywords to include sentences such as Impact of NSA Spying U.S. or NSA Spying Europe and so on, depending on the data you want. Be sure to take some time to describe clearly on paper or in your head your main keywords.

2: Add keywords in quotation marks.

Enter in Google your main keywords, include them in quotation marks, and then hit search. Quotations enable you to refine your Google search and discover the precise word or word set you’re are searching for. For instance, if you want to find out everything you can about the fastest animal in the world, you are likely to type the keywords into Google: the fastest animal in the world. In this situation, 42,600,000 web page findings could be brought up by Google, say. However, Google may return some 2,360,000 search outcomes that contain the precise keywords you used when you include your keyword sentence with quotations. This amount is still significant, but the search findings are more sophisticated.

3. Use the minus sign (-).

The minus sign or dash (-) is another way to search and refine your search outcomes by filtering unwanted phrases. For instance, if you’re looking for data about the animal jaguar, typing in Google jaguar will return an enormous amount of web pages, many of which are about the luxury vehicle Jaguar. If you type the keywords jaguar-vehicle into Google, however, the search engine will filter out car pages and deliver the websites you want about the animal jaguar.

Should you need any assistance with researching online, then speak to your Chef Assessor or one of our student advisors.