The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY)
Do you think you’ll be writing a research paper in school this year? Researching your homework topics might seem like a lot of work, but it can be really fun, too.
The key is to know where to start and how to keep going. If you find something that interests you, you’ll have a good time exploring it.
While your first idea might be to search on the internet, don’t forget about libraries and librarians. These professional researchers have a lot of tips to help you get to the bottom of a subject you’re exploring.
Ask a librarian
You could go to your school librarian or to your public library. Your public library probably has a special children’s section. The librarian there can help you track down facts.
Libraries have many sources that you might not have at home. There might be whole sections full of books on your topic.
Most libraries subscribe to special electronic sources, too. Librarians have already checked out these sources. They know these sites can probably be trusted to state the facts and are appropriate for kids.
If you’re researching on a site such as Google, remember that the more words you put about the subject into the search box, the easier it will be to sort through the sites.
For example, if you type in “flight,” you will probably get millions of sites. If you type in “Wright Brothers” you will still get thousands of sites. But if you type in “Wright Brothers’ first flight,” or “Wright Brothers’ bicycle shop,” you will have a better chance of finding what you are looking for right away.
Search engines especially for kids, such as cybersleuth-kids.com and en.childrenslibrary. org, can be helpful, too. These search engines have been checked out by experts. Parents can know they are safe for kids to use.
Check it twice
Even when the source is trustworthy, information could still be wrong. Knowledge changes all the time. If you’re looking at an older site, the information may be outdated.
For example, we know a lot more about dinosaurs than we did even 10 years ago.
Always ask questions. Researchers such as scientists, historians or police detectives are always looking for clues to help them solve a problem or puzzle.