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Qualitative vs Quantitative Articles

Below are some resources to help define Qualitative and Quantitative research articles.

The Web and the Library: Which One Should I Use?

This video looks at the strengths of web resources and library resources.

View The Web and the Library on Youtube


The Web and the Library: Which One Should I Use?

So you’ve been given a research assignment. Are you going to use the web or are you going to use the library? Often it isn’t one or the other – it’s both. How do you know what you should use?

Let’s look at the strengths of web resources and library resources.

You can find lots of good research material on the web. There are news and journal articles, videos, images, company reports, data, and government information. Many organizations and companies have their own websites that provide useful information. In order to use them as resources, all you need is web access. You may be able to download or save the information that you find. Be aware, however, that some material on the web may require payment. Check with the library because we may already have access to it.

Information gets added to, and subtracted from, the web every day. Remember, the web is enormous and it’s easy to get lost researching unless you have a specific search goal.

Unlike the web, the library gathers materials specifically to support your academic program. Just like on the web, you can find news and journal articles, videos, images, company reports, data, and government information, all in a convenient online format. The library also maintains a physical collection of books, DVDs, magazines, journals, and other materials. The library’s resources are different from the web because items are purchased specifically for their strong, relevant connection to your academic program. The material is selected using an evaluation process that includes your professors, subject experts, and library professionals. There is no charge for you to access library resources.

Just like the web, the library website is available 24/7, allowing you to find materials at any time. You can get relevant results quickly because the content is customized for your program and the search interface has been developed for ease of use.

If you need to use something from the library’s physical collection, you can pick it up during our open hours. Many of the library’s resources are available online at any time, such as streaming video, electronic books, and articles.

Library staff are available on-site, by phone, by email, and by chat to help you use the library’s systems efficiently. We can help with searching databases and using other electronic tools, identifying different types of resources, and choosing the best ways to find information for your assignments.

Both the web and the library offer resources that can help you with your assignments. Knowing how to use both effectively will help you succeed at Georgian.

Roadmap to Research: A Research Process Checklist

This video offers steps on how to begin researching for your assignment.

View Roadmap to Research: A Research Process Checklist on Youtube


Roadmap to Research: A Research Process Checklist

It’s helpful to have a process or checklist to follow when you’re researching. Let’s look at a six-step checklist to take you through the steps. You should keep in mind that in some circumstances you will not do everything on the list, you may not follow the steps in order, and you may have to go through the checklist more than once – and that’s OK. The checklist is a tool to help you stay on track.

Step one is clearly stating your research question. Keep referring to your question as you proceed through the checklist. You might modify your question as you learn more about your topic and gather resources. It might become broader, or more specific. You may need to consult your professor if this happens and you intend to change the focus of your research as a result.

Step two is fully examining your assignment and identifying any requirements or specifications that it provides. What types of resources do you need to use, such as books, peer-reviewed articles, or web resources? How many resources do you need? For example it might require that you use three articles, or at least one web resource. What is the final output or product, for example a video, an essay, a report, or a case study? Be aware that not all assignments will provide all of these details. Make note of the due date so that you can schedule your research, organization, and writing time.

Step three is to define and explore your topic. Use your research question to generate some manageable, focused questions that you will need to address in your research. Use the basic questions – who, what, where, why, when, and how – to help you. Decide what keywords you are going to use in your search.

Step four is to determine the types of information that you need and where you will find it. For example, do you need statistics? Do you need research articles? Do you need images? Where will you find this information? Is it on the web or in one of the library’s databases? Do you need a book to provide a basic introduction to your topic? Should you interview someone knowledgeable about your topic? Now you know what you’re looking for and where you’re going to look and can carry out your search.

Step five is to evaluate what you have found against your research question and assignment. You need to think about relevance, authority, point of view, timeliness, and the context of what you find. Make sure you have all of the details necessary to reference the resources you are using in your final paper or product.

Step six is to begin creating your product or paper. As you go along, document your sources using the citation style required by your professor, such as APA or MLA. You may need to use in-text citation for your sources in addition to creating a reference or works cited list at the end.

Remember, you may need to repeat this entire checklist or repeat a specific step. In real life the research process is rarely neat and tidy.

You can always consult your professor if you have questions. You can also ask library staff to assist you with gathering information and using specific library tools.

Evaluating Resources: Digging Deeper

This video teaches how to evaluate a resource for your assignment.

View Evaluating Resources: Digging Deeper on Youtube


Evaluating Resources: Digging Deeper

Once you have determined that a resource may be helpful because it relates to your topic and meets your assignment’s requirements for length, resource type, and so on, you need to dig deeper and evaluate the actual content of the resource. You want to use high-quality information because excellent resources lead to better assignments.

Here are some questions to consider when determining the quality of a resource, whether it’s an article, a book, a video, a web resource, or any electronic equivalent.

Look at the authors. Does their educational background fit the subject area of the resource? Are they qualified to write in this field? For example, doctors and nurses are qualified to publish in medical or nursing journals, while others may not be.

Look at the publisher. An authoritative or respected publisher is often referred to as academic or scholarly. This shows a level of confidence in their published information, study results, and data. Books, journals, and web resources may be published by an academic institution such as the University of Toronto, or by a well-known academic publisher like Sage. Some journals contain peer-reviewed articles. That means that they have undergone a rigorous scholarly review process prior to publication.

Look at the intended audience for the resource. For whom has it been written? Is it written for the general public, for a professional in the field, or for an academic researcher? Clues can be found in the language used: Is it conversational or is it technical? Is the language specific to a field or discipline?

Consider why something has been published. Has it been written to inform or to entertain a wide audience? Has it been written by professionals in a field for those working in the field? For example, has it been written for people working in graphic design, the golf industry, computer programming, the tourism industry, or early childhood education? Has it been written to present research in an academic context?

Consider the question of bias. Every article is written from the author’s point of view. You should be able to tell if the information is based mainly on the author’s opinion or if it’s based on facts or research. Is the author fairly presenting both sides of an argument or promoting only one side of the discussion? Is he or she showing prejudice against an idea or group?

It’s important that you use multiple resources that provide a balanced and well-supported foundation for your topic. Considering all of these questions while gathering your resources will help to ensure that you produce a high-quality result.

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