Most instructors assign some type of analysis work to you each semester, in which you research a topic and then create a paper or project that analyzes that topic. The most effective way to build your own knowledge base to achieve high grades on such assignments is to consult the writings of the people who work in or study the topic. The analysis of these experts, professionals & scholars is a commodity, it is worth money. That is why you don't find a lot of lengthy analysis out on the Web for free.
The Los Rios Library System (ARC, CRC, EDC, FLC & SCC) pays for your access to that important analysis when we buy books and videos and when we subscribe yearly to dozens of databases.
When doing research, it is useful to understand the different types of periodicals and the kind of information they contain.
Magazines (not Scholarly/Professional)
Newspapers (not Scholarly/Professional)
Books typically provide extensive coverage on one topic or theme. Subject-specific reference books (encyclopedias & dictionaries) can provide you with background information as well as the historical context of your topic.
Write down the call number of the print books in your search results to help you locate the books on the shelf, and to give you an idea of where to browse for similar titles. In this library, we use the Library of Congress Classification System to organize books on the shelves. The LC SYSTEM organizes material in libraries according to 21 subjects called classes. The system uses letters to represent the 21 broad branches of knowledge. The letters I, O, W, X AND Y are not used.
Websites can be valuable sources for supplementing information you have gathered from books and periodicals. However, it is very important that you evaluate the information you find to determine if it is reliable and useful.
When using websites, the evaluation process is more important than ever since anyone who has an account on a computer linked to the Internet can put up a website. They don't have to be intelligent or knowledgeable, scholarly or authoritative, and in most cases, the "information" they put on these pages does not have to pass any kind of scrutiny or editing process.
Many institutional and organizational websites include statements about the types and sources of information that is provided on their sites, as well as the purpose of the organization itself. If this information is not offered