A Research Paper the Big 6 Method #2/3


Information Seeking: Sources, Strategies, Location and Access


What you need to know:

-      What type of information do I need for this task?

-       How many different sources, types of information do I need?

-       Where can I go for this information?

-       How do I know if the information is good/valid?


When you look for sources you have a variety of places to seek information. The library or media center has print resources like books and journals. Online databases found on the internet are print resources that are in electronic format. All schools in Howard County have databases purchased for student use. At home you will need passwords to sign in. At WL these are printed in your agenda. The Howard County Public Library has significantly more databases available online and all you need is your library card number to search and access these sources. They also provide online help 24 hours a day. Go to www.hclibrary.org .


If you choose to use a website that is not from a database or is not recommended by your teacher, you need to evaluate the webpage to make sure it is an accurate source.  You need to ask questions about the site before you accept it as a source:


1.    Who published the page?

2.    What is the purpose of the site?

3.    Who is the author associated with?

4.    Is there a point of bias or is it objectively written?

5.    Is it a primary or a secondary source? Or is it just a summary of a source that would be a better choice than this site?

6.    Is it possible it is ironic? Satire, parody, humor related?

7.    What is the creation date on the page?


Use common sense. If it doesn’t have the credibility to back it up, play it safe and don’t use it.


Use the checklist for more accurate questions: (link to web eval. form)


For more detailed explanations about web checking go to these sites, which were used to create the above questions:




Directories where you can check your chosen site: type the url into the search or use the site to search for good web pages:


·        Librarians’ Internet Index - http://www.lii.org/

·        INFOMINE: Scholarly Internet Resource Collection - http://infomine.ucr.edu/

·        About - http://www.about.com