Writing Tips & Tricks
Internet Research can be a tricky area for students. Any research requires a student to be a critical reader, culling sources to determine what will provide useful support or insight into the area under investigation. Online research though, requires an extra layer of discernment. Students have to make sure that their source is reliable and preferably, peer reviewed.
I explain to my students that although Wikipedia can often be useful for general information, it is not a reliable source for an academic essay. The beauty of a wiki is that anyone can modify it. The danger of a wiki is that anyone can modify it. Instead, I encourage my students to use search engines that are dedicated to scholarly research. These search engines will lead them to reliable sources and some, like Google Scholar, will even provide APA or MLA documentation pre-formatted. Another great resource is Microsoft Academic Search, which similarly highlights reliable sources for academic essays.
But there are many, many options. Check out my Resources page for a link to 100 Search Engines for Academic Research. This is an invaluable resource that highlights search engines that specialize in a variety of fields. Make life a bit easier for the student in your family and pass on this important link. Be sure to look at the other valuable resources I've listed, including help with documentation and overall essay organization and development!
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