Know when to ask for Help
Searching with Google or Google Scholar
- Use Library Links to embed the get it! Laurier button for your searches
- "phrase searching"
- Use - to exclude a word from your search
- Use * to match one or more words in a phrase
- Use ~ for synonyms
- filetype:pdf or ppt or doc to locate only files of a particular type
- define: to find the definition of a word
- AROUND(n) is a proximity search based on the number n. AROUND is capitalized
- AND and OR also have to be capitalized in a search
Using Keywords to search
- Start with a clear topic statement
- Select keywords - usually two or three
- Find keywords from other articles that you found
- Based on the keywords, select synonyms, related terms or alternate forms for each keyword
- Use AND to connect your keywords
- Select an appropriate search database to use your keywords
- Review the results and decide if the keywords you are using are specific enough or too broad
- Use the same strategy when using the genus and species for a particular organism - you may have to look further up the tree to broaden your search
Which database to use?
- Look at the subject page for biology
- Use advance search features where appropriate
- Know that citation searches are different from normal searches - here you are mining the reference list or looks at the times cited for a particular article
- Finding a review article help be a helpful beginning point to your search strategy
- You may need to search different databases
How to read a paper?
- How is the paper organized?
- Do you know what all of the terms mean?
- What problem is this paper asking about?
- Why is this study important?
- What is the objective?
- What are the conclusions?
- What is the supporting evidence?
- Are there any doubts that this conclusion is right?
- What would you do next?
- Was there any bias?
- Check out science in the classroom for more examples
Template for analyzing the logic of an article
The Logic of “(name of the article)”
- The main purpose of this article is __________________________________________________. (State as accurately as possible the author’s purpose for writing the article.)
- The key question that the author is addressing is ______________________________________. (Figure out the key question in the mind of the author when s/he wrote the article.)
- The most important information in this article is ______________________________________. (Figure out the facts, experiences, data the author is using to support her/his conclusions.)
- The main inferences/conclusions in this article are ____________________________________. (Identify the key conclusions the author comes to and presents in the article.)
- The key concept(s) we need to understand in this article is (are) _________________________. By these concepts the author means _______________________________________________. (Figure out the most important ideas you would have to understand in order to understand the author’s line of reasoning.)
- The main assumption(s) underlying the author’s thinking is (are) _________________________. (Figure out what the author is taking for granted [that might be questioned].)
- If we take this line of reasoning seriously, the implications are ___________________________. (What consequences are likely to follow if people take the author’s line of reasoning seriously?)
- If we fail to take this line of reasoning seriously, the implications are ______________________. (What consequences are likely to follow if people ignore the author’s reasoning?)
- The main point(s) of view presented in this article is (are) _______________________________. (What is the author looking at, and how is s/he seeing it?)
- Why did the author write this article ________________________________________________. (Does the author have any bias that should be considered?)
(adapted from the Foundations of Critical Thinking www.criticalthinking.org).
Post Publication Peer Review
- check out PubPeer