Posted: 16 June, 2016
Research is the most dreaded part when it comes to an academic assignment – dare to contradict me. It’s time-consuming, laborious, and tiresome, and it can occupy numerous hours of your precious spare time, which is already rather limited. Research means spending hour after hour in the library, browsing for scholarly materials that are relevant to your project, and making photocopies for you to study afterward in detail.
At least that is how it used to be. Nowadays, doing research online has been embraced as a common practice, as it’s more convenient for most students. Finally, you needn’t spend your time with your head between books – literally. On that account, we’ve collected a couple of useful suggestions on how to redefine your online research habits, in order to be more productive than ever, and spend the least amount of time doing this dreaded assignment.
Where should you look?
If you didn’t consider this option until now, it’s high time you did. Typically, every university, nowadays, has an online library which students can access to browse the catalog, and check the digital copies of the raw materials. For example, we know that Harvard library enables one to browse through the available materials by using keyword search. However, in order to benefit from browsing on your college’s online library, you must have a valid account, probably by using your unique student ID number, as no random visitors may access such sources.
The odds are that you are already acquainted with a range of reputable journals related to your project. Your aim should be to find the online version of these journals. For instance, you may quickly search for reliable journal sources, which are relevant to your subject, and then, by browsing through the content you’ve collected, you may find useful materials for your topic. Nonetheless, do bear in mind that not all articles are available for online visitors. Still, you may benefit from these sources by purchasing their digital copies, which are typically offered for sale.
In the case in which you’re yet to delve into the realm of online research, you might have underrated the ultimate power of Google. Apart from the typical search, Google comes with a set of tools, such as Google Scholar tools and Google Books. These tools enable you to get the digital copies of numerous scholarly sources, such as articles, and books related to your research subject. However, your complete access to these sources is denied. You may preview a particular number of pages only. Still, the tools are useful in giving you an idea concerning the content of the material, and whether it is indeed relevant to your project or not. Additionally, you’ll be directed to an official link where you can purchase that content. If you realize that it is indeed useful for your research, then you may purchase it.
Online databases, just to name a few – SpringerLink and ScienceDirect – enable students to study numerous books, journals, scholarly articles, any many other materials. You can find them by the author, discipline, or by using keywords. Nonetheless, your access is restricted. This means that you may visualize only the abstracts, references, together with publishing information related to the material. If you wish to preview the full versions of the documents, you’ll be required to pay for them, as we’re talking about valuable intellectual property. Even so, it’s an excellent way to get acquainted with relevant research materials for your project, whether you decide to purchase the content or not.
As a final piece of advice, it’s quintessential to pay attention to the format of your paper, in the case in which your research materials are only digital. Get acquainted with these parameters for APA and MLA guidelines, regarding the citing requirements when using electronic materials.
So, there you have it – a brief guide from Boom Essays on how to do research like a pro from the comfort of your own home, and spend the least amount of time while doing it!