The purpose of using evidence from outside sources in your paper or speech is to convince your audience that your points are true, so all of your resources must be well known, and have a reputation for accuracy.
The Internet is a wonderful tool, but it’s not the only way to do research. Many times asking experts over the phone or in person is a great alternative. Experts answer your questions directly and often direct you to other valuable sources. An expert is anyone who has significant experience or knowledge in the area you’re researching. Citing an expert you interviewed is a little more complicated than citing a well known publication. You will have to explain your expert source’s qualifications (in about three to ten words).
Although asking an expert is a very effective strategy, almost all students do a large portion of their research via the Internet.
Beginners make a few predictable mistakes. Using a standard Google search usually returns commercial sites trying to sell something or “blog” sites giving uninformed, unsubstantiated opinions. Neither is useful for your research paper. If you just Google, you will waste your time and become frustrated, because you will find evidence that you would like to use but it will come from from unacceptable sources. Similarly, Wikipedia is not an acceptable source. It is an excellent way to find other sources (which might be credible), but you should never use information gained directly from Wikipedia in your paper or speech.
For this class, in addition to interviewing experts, we will focus on researching through the following methods, as explained in the following short videos:
- Limiting Google Searches to Specific Sources
- Using Google to Search *.gov sites
- Using SIRS through the BTC Library
- Using EBSCO Host through the BTC Library
You are not limited to the sources listed above. If you look elsewhere and and find sources that are well known and have a reputation for accuracy, or if you can explain to the audience why they should find the source credible, you may use them.
Choose any keyword(s), find an example source using each of the four methods above and copy/paste the URL, article title/source, and a short quote from the source.
Written Communication MWF 10 a.m.
KEYWORD(S): Seat belt
GOOGLE LIMITED TO SPECIFIC SOURCES (OTHER THAN .GOV)
Article Title: In Istanbul’s Taxis, Buckling Up Is an Insult
Source: New York Times
Quote: “Awkwardness with a cabby was the least of my concerns when a taxi I was in recently started lurching forward at 100 kilometers per hour (62 m.p.h.), more than triple the road’s speed limit.”
Article Title: How big is the problem of crash-related injuries and deaths to drivers and passengers?
Source: Centers for Disease Control
Quote: “A total of 21,022 passenger vehicle occupants died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2014.”
Article Title: Traffic Deaths, at Record Low in 2014, Are Rising This Year
Source: Washington Post
Quote: “The 32,675 traffic deaths last year were the lowest ever, but NHTSA Administrator Mark R. Rosekind said that estimates for the first six months of this year show that fatalities are up more than 8 percent.”
Article Title: Seat Belt Use Among Adult Workers – 21 States, 2013.
Source: Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report
Quote: “Roadway incidents involving motorized vehicles accounted for 24% of fatal occupational injuries in the United States during 2013 and were the leading cause of fatal injuries among workers.* In 2013, workers’ compensation costs for serious, nonfatal injuries among work-related roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicles were estimated at $2.96 billion.”