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Homework Help

How to Research?

STEP 1:
PREPARE

If you are not familiar with the subject, start by using an encyclopedia to learn more about the subject. There is a link on this page to Britannica Online. You will need a valid Toronto Public Library card to access it. After you have learned a bit more about the topic, think of other words that you can use to find more information about the topic.

STEP 2:
FIND

It’s important that you find information that is accurate and current. If your teacher suggests using multiple resources, consider using resources in different formats (books, news articles, etc.). Here are some places where you can find resources:

  • Toronto Public Library’s Online Catalogue.
  • Toronto Public Library’s Online Databases.
    • Online databases include articles that you may also find in books, magazines, newspapers and more. With a Toronto Public Library card, you’ll have free access to most articles and some abstracts

Search Tips

  1. Put words in quotation marks - If the words must go together.
  2. Be specific- More words lead to fewer results.
  3. Use connecting words - Using the word "and" will ensure that both words you are looking for show up in the same web page. Using the word "or" means that you are searching for sites with either word.

If you decide to use the Internet, you’ll have to find reliable information. Here are some things to consider:

  • Who wrote this?
  • When was it published?
  • Is this serious, or is it a joke?
  • Is the information biased? Does it give only one opinion?
  • Are there links to other sources?
  • Who is the information meant for?

Step 3:
WRITE

When writing a paper, it is important to be concise. Structure the paper in a way that is easy to read. Some suggestions include using:

  • Headings.
  • Graphs/Charts.
  • Images (if applicable).
  • Footnotes and creating a bibliography.

If you are sourcing a quote, it’s important that you use a footnote to show where you took the quote from.

Your teacher may also ask you for a bibliography (a list of resources you used to write your paper).

Step 4:
PRESENT

In addition to your paper, your teacher may also ask you to present your research to the class. In this case, you will likely need to prepare presentation slides. Avoid using clip-art. For the presentation slides, aim to have less text on the slides by only including main points. Use visuals such as graphs/charts and relevant images to support your research.