One who can use search engines can also make mistakes when doing research, leading to their works being denied, which often happens in high schools and even more often at universities. Doing proper research is a skill which you can learn and master, which does involve using search engines. Here is how you can improve your research skills online.
Check Your Source of Information
When doing research of any kind, this has to be the top priority. Using articles from Wikipedia, for example, will probably not work in most scientific publications and even at universities. Here is why, Wikipedia articles are sourced by the public and therefore can be written by anyone. They do, however, have references to actual sources which is also something that needs to be checked. News sites and other questionable media should not be used as a source for a serious articles.
If you want your source to be credible, stick to government sites, university sites and use Google Scholar.
Stay away from articles which are written well enough to look as formal articles but which use no sources. A source is really important so alway follow the internet and see where it leads you. Sometimes, a poorly written article can lead you to an actual credible source, which is why you need to learn how to use common sense and the search engines.
Use the Search Engines
Using search engines is simple enough, but learning a few advanced ways of searching can be extremely helpful in filtering out unwanted results. That is the most important part of research, given how much data is available online. By filtering out what is unnecessary, you can focus on the stuff which is essential to your research.
Furthermore, you should know which data to disregard, which is why you need common sense. Follow the threads and dismiss anything which seems like bad data or which does not have a legitimate source.
Turn to Books for Information
There is a good reason why most quotes come either from other essays, research studies or books. In order to check for information, you can turn to bibliography, as it will definitely have some answers for you. There are ways of searching for books online, like WorldCat, the database of libraries and works of both fiction and non-fiction. You can sort it by author, language, format, a lot of criteria. It is a good way of finding credible sources.
Be Ready to Compromise and Improvise
Your search may not always return with positive results or any kind which you can use. What you must do then is improvise and turn to other disciplines which might have researched your topic of choice. Be ready to make compromises and be patient, great research takes time.
Using more than one search engine should also be on your list of backup plans if Google does not return the results you need. Turn to specific, academic search engines and you might find something a lot more ‘to the point’.
Organize What You Found
If you just assemble a lot of data and never organize it, chances are you are going to end up in a digital clutter which will suffocate you. Bookmark stuff, create folders and place everything in its proper place. That way, when you need a specific citation or data set, you can just pull it from a folder or bookmark and avoid the confusion and clutter.
Organize your research, make it better and simpler. Use credible sources and filter out what you do not need and you will have no trouble finding accurate data and citations for your next research project.