There is a vast amount of information on the web and most it may be muddled on a blog or in news articles with skewed views. The importance of research is mentioned in an article I wrote for Jaclyn Roche’s blog. The research value of research never dwindles. Good research if made from good sources. So where are these good research articles found?
Let’s talk about these clunky books that took up your whole wall. Encyclopedias have been around at least since the medieval ages. Today, these are still relevant and likely stored in a computer database. Don’t confuse them with Wikipedia which is a different beast altogether. Encyclopedia Britannica is one of the most famous encyclopedias and they can be found online for the cost of a membership. Encyclopedias are a great investment just like any other great resource.
Textbooks and other Non-fiction
Textbooks are used as teaching tools for a reason. They provide accurate information, even if it might be slightly biased (remember history is usually written by the winners). These days anyone can write a non-fiction book on anything and publish it, but if you find one that has been put out by a reputable author or knowledgeable in their field then this is a safe source to use. Check out an author’s bio if you aren’t sure. Do a little more in depth research.
Oh, how we have long forgotten about research databases since we left high school and college right? In Georgia, we have a database named Galileo which can be accessed as a guest to certain scholarly articles and the state Encyclopedia. It is aimed at the school systems for research databases, but it is not obsolete just because you have graduated.
Sources that could use improvement
It might sound like a great resource, but anyone can change the Wikipedia database. You don’t even need to sign up for an account. One day the Wikipedia article may read that the sky is blue and the next day it says it is fuchsia pink. This is by far a good way to get the facts in a mixed bag with opinions and untrue information.
You are reading this blog, and I try my best to be accurate but I will lump myself into this category as well. Some blogs are informative, some are opinions, and some people just make things up to hear themselves talk. They are not research articles. If you used a blog on a scholarly paper, it wouldn’t even count as a source. The most infamous one that is cited is the Huffington Post. There are others that are blogs as well that also try to pass themselves off as news articles. I won’t mention those by name for legal reasons. The Huffington Post claims to be exactly what it is, a news blog. All blogs leave room for writer creativity, opinions, and expression. It all goes back to the sky is blue theory.