The Best Dissertation Research Strategy
As you no doubt have figured about by now, research is key to any academic paper. The question, though, is where to begin? Not to worry. Here we’ll discuss the best research strategy as well as some helpful hints along the way.
- The Internet
- Google: Google can help you find pretty much any kind of information you could possibly need. And by using Google Scholar (which you can reach simply by searching for Google Scholar) you can narrow your search results to articles and other scholarly literature.
- Wikipedia: Now, be careful with this one. Wikipedia itself is not always a 100% accurate source of information, and you definitely don’t want to list it as a source in your works cited page. However, that being said, if you scroll down to the references section, you’ll often find many other sites where you can continue your research (and which will be acceptable sources for your works cited page). Basically, you can use Wikipedia as a springboard to lead you to other sources of information.
- Your Local Library
The obvious place to start is, of course, the internet.
This goes without saying, but your textbooks are an absolute treasure trove when it comes to finding information on the topic at hand. This is especially true if you still have textbooks from previous semesters that are relevant to your chosen topic. And if you can’t remember exactly where in your book the information you’re looking for is, you can more than likely find it by looking up keywords in the book’s index. As an added bonus, it gives your dissertation paper more credibility if it has a number of non-online citations. In fact, many instructors insist on it.
With such resources as the internet which gives us immediate access to almost unlimited information with just a few typed keys and the click of a mouse, it’s easy to forget about more old-fashioned sources of information such as the library. But the library is a resource not to be overlooked. You may be able to find all of the information you need in your textbooks and on the internet, but it’s also important to have a well-rounded variety of source material. You may be able to find information in books, magazines, or videos at the library that you may or may not be able to find through other sources.
As a final note, you need to be very selective about which sources to use and include. This is especially true of information found online. As noted above, Wikipedia is not always completely reliable, and the same goes for Yahoo Answers and other similar discussion forums. In a nutshell, you need to make every effort to make sure that your sources are credible. Good luck, and happy researching!