The Research Process
Remember, when you are conducting research, the two most important questions to ask are:
WHAT'S MY QUESTION? HOW MUCH DO I KNOW?
Depending on your question and how much you know about your topic will determine which resource is the best one for you to use.
If you know 0-25% of your topic, choose a REFERENCE source.
If you know 25-50% of your topic, choose a BOOK.
If you know 50-75% of your topic, choose a DATABASE from the approved list on this page.
If you know 75-100% of your topic, choose a SEARCH ENGINE like GOOGLE on the INTERNET. Use the SEARCH terms and phrases from your DATABASE searches in your GOOGLE search. Use what you know about your topic already to weed out useless or wrong information. But first, check the approved websites on this page.
These tools will help you create your project.
A REFERENCE could be a print encyclopedia, atlas, dictionary or thesaurus, or a digital source like a database. Here you will learn the basics of your topic, fast facts and vocabulary words that you can use later as search terms.
REF 320.473 ENC Encyclopedia of American Government
A four-volume set that includes 200 alphabetically-arranged entries about a variety of topics related to the United States government, including the Bill of Rights, gay rights, gender politics, and criminal procedures. (CIP)
A BOOK could be a print book, an e-book, a digital textbook, or an audio book. A BOOK in any form is usually more specific than a REFERENCE source. Here you will add details to the basic information you have already learned and begin to connect your basic facts together. You can use the library catalog to look up title, publisher and author information that you may need to fill in your notes.
Selected Constitution/Government Books from Our Library
DATABASES are organized, searchable sources of information, often available only with a subscription (which means you will need passwords for remote access, ask Jennifer, Elizabeth or Matthew for the passwords). Beyond that, a database can be anything: images, videos, articles from magazines or videos, or collections of print encyclopedia information. Even though you access them through the INTERNET, DATABASES have more specific information than what you will find just GOOGLING your topic. Here you will find more current information on your topic using the vocabulary words your learned from your REFERENCE and BOOK sources as your SEARCH terms.