Research can be a real pain in brain if you’re not prepared. There is nothing worse than getting to the end of a project and trying to write the bibliography with no idea of which source an idea came from, let alone details!
The following post will provide you with some helpful tips to get you prepared for your research and allow you to find things faster and easier.
You are not alone
Everyone feels overwhelmed at the start of a project but there are loads of resources available to get you from here to that amazing moment when it passes out of your hands some time around the due date.
The State Library have published resources on Research Skills on their Ergo website (along with ones on Essay Writing and Study Skills). These pages give you step-by-step instructions on the different stages of the research process.
There are also good resources put out by the School Library Association of Victoria that I will look at in more detail below.
When beginning your research it is essential that you start by getting a basic understanding of it. You will need to know the main players involved, key ideas and historical context. There is nothing wrong with using Wikipedia for this. Wikipedia will give you a broad overview and point you in the right direction. Remember that you shouldn’t use wikipedia for quotes though.
Once you have a grasp of the basics, you can do further investigations using keyword searches in Google or on Encyclopeadia Brittanica (accessed from the library menu on the hopcross website).
To improve your searching, take a look at the videos in this post put out by SLAV.
While carrying out research it is challenging to keep track of all the places that you have been to. Using the bookmarks on your browser or an online bookmark site like Delicious can help you to organise your sources and can be invaluable when compiling your bibliography.