Research and the Web

When library research became common in the college curriculum, one medium dominated the field: print. Books, scholarly journals, and maps all had to go through a laborious and expensive process before they got to stores or library shelves. This made information relatively scarce, and students depended upon their college libraries to provide them with suitable materials.

Publishing on the Web is dramatically less expensive, and we can now access a wealth of information without visiting a library or bookstore. Information is not nearly as scarce as it was in the past, and a Google search will bring us many pieces of information that previously would have cost us more, whether in money or effort, to obtain.

But the demands of college work have not changed all that much. When you use research materials, you are expected to use not just any information, but high-quality sources, whether they be books, articles from magazines or scholarly journals, or websites. And high-quality sources are not always easy to find on the Web. You might have had the experience already of searching the Web for materials for your papers and finding little of value.

This tutorial is intended to help you avoid this frustration. Let's take a look at what kinds of high quality information you're likely to find on the Web.