This guide was designed to offer resources, tips, and strategies for your course research assignment. If you use some of the information offered here but are still stuck, get in touch with a librarian!
The Research Advisory Program (RAP) provides one-on-one research assistance for students. Sessions are conducted in person, by phone, or online.
Note: If you've never used a library database, don't be intimidated. They're simply online collections of quality research provided by the App State Library that you can't get anywhere else. If you have questions, get in touch with a librarian!
Try searching Belk Library's APPsearch tool for books, ebooks, scholarly journal articles, and many other sources you can't find anywhere else!
Now that you’ve started finding sources, you’ll need to evaluate them before committing to them, but this doesn’t have to be time consuming. Just ask yourself two questions:
Not every suitable source is trustworthy, and not every trustworthy source is suitable.
Your task as a researcher is to determine the appropriateness of the information your source contains for your particular research project. Consider the following: will this source help me answer the research questions that I am posing in my project? Will it help me learn as much as I can about my topic? Will it help me write an interesting, convincing essay for my readers?
Determining Trustworthiness (or Credibility)
Trustworthiness of sources may not be as easy to determine, especially if you’re doing research on the open web and if you’re in a hurry, aren’t paying attention, or haven’t checked your own biases at the door. This goes for both library and non-library sources. Pay attention to things like:
Here is a video series that offers great strategies for verifying information you find on the open web.
And here is a short video courtesy of NCSU that offers general context on evaluation of information: