• Steps to Research

    Research Questions:

    • Write as many questions about your topic as you can: Who, What, When, Where, Why

    • Evaluate each question for relevance to your topic.

    • Eliminate any unnecessary questions.

    • Add any additional questions that might help direct your research.

    Reliability of Sources:

    Websites: Evaluate for

    • Author/Organization

    • Date

    • Purpose 

    • Level you can understand

    Evaluating Sources:  

    Ask yourself these questions when reviewing information: TRAAP

    Timeliness - the timeliness of the information.

    • When was the information published or posted?

    • Has the information been revised or updated?

    • Does your topic require current information, or will older sources work as well?

    Relevance - the information meets your needs.

    • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?

    • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?

    • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?

    Authority - the source of the information.

    • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?

    • Is the author qualified to write on the topic?

    • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source? Examples: .com .edu .gov .org .mil

    Accuracy - the reliability and correctness of the content.

    • Where does the information come from?

    • Is the information supported by evidence?

    • Are there sources cited on the website or in the article?

    Purpose - the reason the information exists.

    • What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, entertain, or persuade?

    • Is the information fact or opinion?

    • Does the website have bias for one point of view?

    Adapted from the Meriam Library at the California State University


    Drive-By Evaluations:

    1. Tree Octopus

    2. Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches

    3. Prairie Dogs 

    4. Aluminum Foil Deflector

    5. Deep Sea Creatures




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