Internet_Research.jpg

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How can I find public policy to support my bill?

Strategies for Internet Research






Step 1: Brainstorm your resources


  • library subscription databases (SIRS Knowledge Source & ABC-CLIO)

  • library search engine (netTrekker)


SIRS.jpg ABC-CLIO.jpg NetTrekker.jpg


Step 2: Identify key terms


What are the most important words about this topic? Type those words in the search boxes when looking for articles during your research.



Step 3: Begin the search SIRS.jpg


Next, you can do one of two things: 1) if you already know your topic, then you can type the keywords in the search box, or 2) if you do not know your topic, you can browse topics in the Pro vs. Con Leading Issues box


1) If you already know your topic:

  • Enter your search terms in the box, then click Search

  • All relevant articles will show up in the middle of the screen.

  • Notice that on the left-hand side of the screen is a box called Narrow your results. One of your choices is Gov't Documents, which might be helpful for finding current policy on your topic as well as statistics to help persuade Congress to pass your bill.

  • The summaries for each article are listed underneath the links. To read the full article, click on the title link and it will open a new html page with the full text.

  • To cite your source, click on Citation at the top right-hand corner of the screen. This will send you to the end of the article -- unfortunately, SIRS only gives you the citation in MLA format, so you'll have to convert it to APA.


2) If you do not know your topic:

  • Go to the Pro vs. Con Leading Issues box on the right-hand side of the screen and click on More Issues

  • Browse through the alphabetical list of topics and click on one that interests you

  • Notice that at the top of the screen, SIRS offers you a pros and cons list for your topic. Then to the left, it gives your further research tools, such as a timeline, the global impact of the issue, and statistics.




Step 3: Begin the search ABC-CLIO.jpg

Next, you can do one of two things: 1) if you already know your topic, then you can type the keywords in the search box, or 2) if you do not know your topic, you can browse topics in the Database Links box under Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society


1) If you already know your topic:

  • Enter your search terms in the search box and click Go

  • The system will return results for you from several databases. You'll need to click on a link to go to a database to view the results.

  • To view an article, click on the blue title

  • To cite your source, click on Cite This Document in the top right-hand corner of the screen. Copy and paste the APA format into your Works Cited page.

2) If you do not know your topic:

  • Go to the Database Links box and click on Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society

  • The system will bring up a Topic of the Day, but if you want to see an alphabetical list, then click on the blue link for See More Issues on the top left-hand corner of the screen

  • To visit a topic, click on the word

  • You can find more detailed information by click on anything on the left-side menu called Issues

  • To cite your source, click on the Cite This Document in the top right-hand corner of the screen. Copy and paste the APA format into your Works Cited page.


Step 3: Begin the search NetTrekker.jpg

  • From the Round Rock High School Library home page (http://teacherweb.com/TX/RoundRockHighSchool/Library/apt9.stm), click on the link for Online Databases (http://www.roundrockisd.org/index.aspx?page=2447).

  • Click on netTrekker

  • Enter your search terms where it says Enter a keyword phrase

  • Click Search

  • Hits are listed 8 websites to a page. Each site has the following information: title, URL, summary, subject links, overall rating, and readability level

    • Title = the name of the site

    • URL = the address on the web

    • Summary = information you can find on the site

    • Subject links = related topics; click on these to find more specific/more general information related to your topic

    • Overall rating = rated on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 is the lowest and 5 is the highest)

    • Readability level = Level 1 (Grade 1-3); Level 2 (Grade 4-6); Level 3 (Grade7-8); Level 4 (Grade 9-10); Level 5 (Grade 11-12); NA (Not Applicable)

  • To open a website, click on the linked title

  • To cite your source using the APA format, fill in the blanks for the following format:
    • Author's name. Title of web site. Date published or last revised. Retrieved from <Web URL>.

    • Skip any information that isn't available

    • Example: Center for Prevention of School Violence. n.d. Retrieved from <http://www.ncdjjdp.org/cpsv/library.html>

    • Or you can use this site to help you: Son of Citation Machine. All you have to do is plug in the information, then copy and paste it.