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English 1302 - Irvin, L: Finding and Evaluating a Source

Searching and Evaluating Sources

Searching as Strategic Exploration

Purpose:

Students will understand how to create a flexible search strategy for an assignment

Skills:

S.1.  Utilize divergent (brainstorming) and convergent (e.g., selecting the best source) thinking when searching;

S. 2.  match information needs and search strategies to appropriate search tools; and

S. 3.  use different types of searching language appropriately.

Knowledge:

K. 1.  Realize that information sources vary greatly in content and format and have varying relevance and value, depending on the needs and nature of the search; and

K. 2.  recognize the value of browsing and persistence.

Activity:  Class will be divided into groups. 

All groups will use the following research topic:

How have sugar sweetened beverages affected health in the U. S. in the past century?

  1. Get out a sheet of paper and write the research topic at the top. 
  2. Discuss with group what 3-4 keywords you would use to research the topic. [5 min]
  3. One person from each group will write their keywords on the board. [5 min]
  4. Brainstorm with class related words that may be used. [3 min]
  5. Discuss discipline and viewing a topic through a different lens. 
  6. Groups will be given an index card with a specific discipline from which to search their keywords.
  7. Each group will examine three different database tools utilizing the A-Z list of Databases and consider the following: [7 min.]
    • What types of sources did you find?  journal articles, news, print, primary source, video, audio, reference, statistics, charts, magazines, reviews, images, reports, etc
    • Were your search results relevant to your research topic?
    • Were the number of search results you found manageable?
    • How could you limit your findings to make them more manageable or relevant?
    • Consider the capabilities (extra tools) within the database that you like? Discuss them with your group. [2 min]
  8. Discuss each database tool and determine, as a group, which one you prefer.  Write the name of the database (tool) on the index card along with the things you like best about the tool. [2 min]
  9. One person from each group will share the groups' favorite tool with the class. [2 min/group]
  10. Write a paragraph telling another student what their Best Bet will be for researching this topic within the specific discipline, and why you feel it is a Best Bet. [2 min]

Search Examples from Tools

Tool: Library Discovery

Try an all-in-one search for topics to get articles, books, and more. Use quotation marks "for phrases" and the * to pick up alternate endings in your search string.

Off-campus access

Library databases require a login from off-campus!

  • ACES username is required for login
  • ACES password is your password for login

What does the login page look like?

 

San Antonio College Library
Located in the Moody Learning Center (MLC), floors 2-4
1819 North Main Avenue., San Antonio, TX 78212
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