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IB Program - Pensacola High School: Research Strategies

Research Process

Assignment Calculator

Use this Assignment Calculator to help plan and manage your time as you work through the usual steps to complete your assignment.

Evaluating Information from the Web

When using web sources in your research, it is imperative that you critically evaluate the information to make sure it is authoritative and credible.  Critical evaluation means careful and exact thinking - it means looking for public forms of evidence rather than simply accepting what we are told or our own biased intuitions.

What is an Argumentative Research Paper?


Scholarly, Trade, and Popular Articles

There are 3 basic categories of articles, each designed for a particular audience. Scholarly articles are written for a scholarly audience, trade articles are written for a professional audience, and popular articles are written for a general audience. 

Creating an Annotated Bibliography

Watch this brief video for help creating an annotated bibliography:

Finding a Scholarly Article

Scholarly articles are generally not freely available on the open web - rather, they are usually accessed through subscription databases at the library. 

Identifying the Types of Information Needed

There are lots of different types and formats of information, ranging from scholarly articles and academic books to popular websites and online blogs.  It's important to understand the wide variety of information and the purpose each type serves in order to identify, evaluate, and/or cite the sources you use in your research. 

Locating Documents Using Citations

Reviewing a Bibliography or Reference List is a great method for identifying additional sources on a particular topic.  It's also important to understand the anatomy of a citation so that you know what you're looking for.

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Primary sources are materials created at the time of the topic you are researching, or by an eyewitness to the topic.  Primary sources enable the researcher to get as close as possible to what actually happened during an historical event or time period.  They are not commentary about your topic, but are the topic you are commenting about. 

Watch this brief video for help differentiating between primary and secondary sources: