Research using the Internet

10 10 2012

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My husband despises when I research using the Internet. Something about leaving 16 tabs open within a browser’s window bothers him. It could be that it bogs down the Wi-Fi, but I generally tune out once the computer acronyms begin to fly.

I like to keep all the tabs open so I can go back to them and get the information for the bibliographic citation. I especially like articles that include the citation (in several different formats) right at the bottom of the page.

I’ll open another window (not a tab) and head to the Son of a Citation Machine website to get those citations formatted exactly according to the professor’s guidelines. Generally, I get to use the MLA format now that I’m heavy into my English and Literature classes. Never fear. My magic citation maker can make all different types.

Search engines are finicky creatures. I’ve discovered that a fruitful search requires a certain combination of words. Can I find a search engine code cracker?

Type in exactly what you want. No good. Okay, throw in some quotations. Still 50,000 hits about an unrelated subject matter. Sometimes being more specific only makes things worse. It was a stroke of genius when Google subdivided their search page into all the different categories (web, images, maps).

Using the library database to find journal articles requires even more special search word finesse. Most professors are enamored with peer-reviewed journals. I find most of the reading in these periodicals dry, statistic heavy and full of noncreative nonfiction at its finest.

Obviously, those are the very qualities that make it a “scholarly publication.” If I ever decide to pursue a graduate degree, I’ll crawl on my knees and beg one of these journals to publish my thesis. Yippee. I hope I don’t have to crawl over broken glass in my running shorts.

And so – the research continues. For coeds, it’s a normal part of life in the college lane.




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