There is an old joke about Einstein, Bohr, and the information search. We will not repeat it, but the moral is that it is more important not to know everything, but to know where to find the information you need even if your topics is complex as described in our previous article. You will be surprised, for many people finding the right resource is a task from the realm of fantasy. It happens nowadays in our digital society! Searching for a source is an important part of the learning process. In fact, looking for sources and using them in the text is an easy task, but you just need to follow some rules. If you say to yourself: “I need to write my essay but I do not know how to find the relevant information,” this article is for you.
Draw a Mind Map and to Determine What Information Will Be Useful
Mind maps are very helpful in structuring thoughts, especially if the topic is very broad. When you draw one you, clearly see what is necessary to mention in a particular part of the essay. In addition, a map will be useful for resource searching: you will understand better what keywords to use. For example, you need to write an essay about John Kennedy. You can distinguish several areas of his life to write about: the childhood, the presidency, personal life and the murder. At this point, each element has its own characteristics. When you define what you are interested in, choose some keywords and browse for the sources.
First, you must find the information that will help you. To simplify it, choose the keywords – the basic terms and concepts that are relatable to your topic. For example, if you need to write an essay on media publications, the keywords are “media,” “publication” and some with the similar meaning as “digital printing,” “online edition,” etc. Searching by a keyword is the most important and most effective method when you need to find a source on the Internet. A search by one word will give a few million results, a search by two words will give you less, and the request of four or six words will give you only a few hundred links. In addition, the more accurately and competently the request is made, the greater is the likelihood that the desired result will show up on the first page. Also, do not forget that the search engines cannot always correct the misspellings in the queries. By the way, do not ignore capital letters, unless you want to deal with the extra results. For example, if you search for the word “bush,” the search engine will give you information both about the plant and George Bush. If you type “Bush,” you will only find information about the ex-president.
The Library Is Your Choice
The problem is that many scientific articles are available only for a fee or even are nonexistent on the Internet. Difficulties arise when you need to write an essay about a phenomenon that appeared not so long ago, for example, a neural network. There is not much scientific information about it in the public domain, and it is expensive to pay: for each article up to $30. There is a way out, it is called library holdings. You can always go to the library and find the sources needed. Many scientific journals are sent to different mass or specialized libraries. In order to make the process of searching more comfortable, almost all data is digitized, and it will take you a few clicks to find the needed book. In addition, you can always ask for help and librarians will advise where to look for certain articles.
Open All Links on the Internet!
Google any info on the topic. You will never know what can come in handy. Even if you find an article that is very distantly related to the topic, there you still can find useful ideas or statistics. Maybe they will come across your idea or will give another look on the issue and so on. By the way, look for the original resources. Wikipedia may help you with it. No, do not copy the information from it, but pay attention to the References section, where you can find many primary sources and articles which can be used. When you opened all the links on the Internet and collected sources for the whole dissertation, filter them. Choose the paragraphs that fit your topic and figure out which is the best way to use them. However, it is important to verify the authenticity of the source on the Internet, because there is a risk of getting false information. For example, if you found the information on the BBC website, usually it is tested and it can be trusted. If even the name of the site is not credible, you should not trust such a resource. By the way, Wikipedia is also a reliable source but it is worth remembering that it can be edited by any user. There were cases when different Wiki articles had been edited for the sake of a joke, so you should double-check the questionable facts.
Paraphrasing Ideas and Thoughts
Paper writing is impossible without a theoretical framework. How to use the theory and to write a non-plagiarized essay at the same time? There exist several ways to mention other people’s ideas and thoughts in the paper, which will not be considered as a copy-paste. For example, it can be a direct quote or link to the source. In the last case, you do not copy abstracts, but retell some statements in your own words. Primarily, paraphrasing is analysis. You can read a 10 pages’ article and make a definite conclusion. You processed this information, but this is not your own ideas, so a link to the source should be mentioned.
The essay still needs to rely on the facts and discoveries. To write a non-plagiarized essay with someone else’s ideas you should use citation and quotation. This is when you copy paragraphs from other people’s papers, but design them in a proper way. There are several styles of citation as Harvard style, APA, MLA, Chicago style, etc. If everything is done correctly, such borrowing will not be considered plagiarism.