The Internet can be a terrific place to find up-to-date information for research papers and projects. In fact, these days the Web is the only place to find certain sorts of information. Government agencies, for example, are increasingly making their latest statistics available only in electronic format as they try to rein in costs (and save trees in the process.)
You can also find invaluable, extensive and trustworthy information from Web sites put up by professional organizations and associations (examples: American Psychological Association, Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association), as well as sites related to programs heard on National Public Radio (like “All Things Considered”) or seen on public television (NOVA science programs.) These fine Web sites can be excellent supplements to books and journal articles as research sources.
But, as every instructor knows, there’s also a lot of unreliable junk on the Net, as well. After all, anyone with a computer can put up a Web site. And when students simply Google their way through a research project, the results can be discouraging.
So, given the mixed bag in the Web world, how do you sort the wheat from the chaff? In a short series of short blog entries, I’ll present some tips to make your Web searching easy and fruitful. Look for the first installment next week!