Rationale for Internet Research Assignment
In your CLS course, you might be asked to perform two different types of Internet research: general Internet research through a search engine such as Google Scholar; and an academically based research through a search engine such as LORA that is accessed through the Bizzell Library.
Each type of Internet research has its purpose and value. General Internet research can not only help students distinguish between credible sources that relate to course content, but these searches can also point to good articles on course subject matter that are often more approachable and understandable for students.
General Internet Research
General Internet research can help improve your searching skills on the Internet. This should prepare you for evaluating how good a Web site is or is not when you use the Web site in an assignment.
Important things to consider when considering the use of a Web site for your assignment:
- Who put the site up? (Government, University, Organization, Individual? Etc.)
- How does the relate to the concepts and content in the course?
- Can you trust the information? Is it highly biased, or does it seem prudent & well-considered?
- Is this an "info-mercial" -- is it selling a product?
- Is this site expressing an individual's personal viewpoint?
- Why do you find it interesting?
- Can you relate the site to anything in your life?
One example of the value of general Internet research is Thomas Kuhn's book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Many students find this book difficult to understand. However, a Google search on Kuhn can help the student find resources that are both credible and understandable.
Internet Research for Refereed Journals
Understanding the prior research on a particular topic is the basis of most academic discourse. Students and professors need to know what has been studied, discussed, and recommended by other scholars so new lines of thinking can be argued. As researchers, students need to understand context of ongoing research in order to understand its validity and significance. Hence, for the Internet Research assignment, students will be required to research and analyze some published research on a topic that relates to the course.
Information About Using LORA in your Internet Research Assignments
Sometimes students find LORA difficult to use. What students are encountering is the difference in using general search engines to search the Internet (yahoo, google, lycos, etc.) and using an academic search engine to find researched, refereed, academic journals. When you search Google, anyone can put up a web page that you might find and evaluate. When you search LORA, you are searching for articles written by scholars and experts. Your analysis should be a little different, because your are evaluating content and ideas more so than the credibility of the source.
Learning how to using LORA and other library data bases and academic search engines will be invaluable in your academic career. Using LORA allows you to research paper and entire paper, Thesis, or Dissertation without ever having to step into a Library.
LORA has the capability of finding books, but what you should look for in your Internet Research Assignment is full text articles. Find full text articles that relate to the course content and concepts.
Below are some links that will help you use LORA and might help you navigate though other parts of the Library as you have questions.
- Tutorial on using LORA
- Other Library Tutorials
- Library Knowledge Base
- Email a Librarian
Goals of the Internet Research Assignment
The Internet Research assignment is meant to:
- help students choose a topic they can explore for a particular unit or for the whole course;
- acquaint students with the research on that topic, as well as the typical style and organization of publications in the field;
- provide students the opportunity to polish Internet and library research skills; and
- allow students to organize their ideas about that topic in a meaningful way