Finding, Evaluating, and Utilizing Credible Information
This course requires a higher level of research than you may have undertaken in the past. You must find
sources that are reliable, relative to your paper’s topic, and contain evidence to support your claims and
arguments. Take thorough notes while you find these sources, and be careful to avoid plagiarism by
appropriately quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing your sources.
Using the University Library
In prior courses, you used the Internet to research information about different topics. In this course, you
may still use the Internet sparingly, but the University Library provides a wider variety of resources that
are more appropriate for formal research papers.
The University Library includes the following resources:
These databases contain magazine articles, journal articles, newspaper articles,
audio clips, and other types of multimedia, statistics, articles with opposing viewpoints, and much
more. You can search through the databases by specialization, subject, author, title, publication,
and so forth.
Besides the databases, the library also contains access to books,
dissertations, theses, research in Spanish, Canadian information, country profiles and economic
data, encyclopedias and dictionaries, as well as journal indexes and abstracts.
Writing and test-taking resources:
The library also provides guides for preparing for and taking
different kinds of tests, improving writing and grammar, and so on.
The library contains links to Frequently Asked Questions, quick feedback from a librarian, a
research tutorial, and a library handbook.
As you search for sources, you may get thousands of responses to a topic in the University Library. If that
happens, you may have to narrow your topic, or you may need to enter more specific information in the
search engine. The library tutorial at
information for using Boolean search commands to expand, limit, or refine a search for information.
Finding and Evaluating Credible Information
is one that is trustworthy, providing true, accurate, and balanced information.
Generally, periodicals, journals, and other sources found in the University Library are credible because
they are written by professionals and have to be approved to be published. Many of the library articles are
—written by professionals and reviewed by other professionals in the same area of