How to conduct Internet research

How to conduct
Internet research
Step 1 - Choose an appropriate search engine
The internet has a variety of different search engines which you might like to consider as a starting
point for Added Value in Modern Studies. Some well-known ones include:
These search engines will also display and rank websites for you according to topic relevancy based
on the keywords you entered into the search engine
Step 2 - Perform a key word search
Key word searches are an extremely useful way of using the internet to find out exactly what you
want to know. You need to select the key words most relevant to your research. For example, if you
were researching levels of crime committed by women in Scotland you might want to perform a key
word search using ‘WOMEN’ ‘CRIME’ and ‘SCOTLAND’. You can make your search more specific by
using AND / OR in-between the key words selected.
Step 3 - Determine if the website is reliable
Modern Studies encourages you to think critically about any information you have found. So,
consider the origin, is it a reliable source? Websites such as Wikipedia are often cited as examples of
unreliable sources, because anyone can contribute to them. Be wary or personal websites and blogs,
which express an individual’s view point only.
Step 4 - Use current information for your Internet research
Some information is time-sensitive, and the sources you may find and use may be outdated or
inaccurate. For example, if you are performing research on crime statistics, use information from an
article published within the last few weeks or months, instead of an article published from several
years ago.
Step 5 - Recording your internet research
Your teacher will ask that you record all research you carry out. Logging your research also helps you
to reflect upon where the most valuable and useful sources were to be found. Internet links can
Name of website
Date visited
Information gathered
(SG policing - types of crime
recorded by the police, 2012 –
Non-sexual crimes of violence & sexual
offences = 3% of all crimes recorded.
Crimes of dishonesty = 50% of the overall
total Fire-raising and Vandalism = 22% of
all crimes
“Other” crimes (inc. handling of offensive
weapons, Drug crimes and Breaches of bail
conditions) just under one quarter of all
sometimes be very long – you may wish to use bitly to shorten the link accordingly. For example:
You might wish to adopt a table approach to record your research. An example is shown below:
Using ‘print screen’ to save examples of searches you have tried is also a useful way of recording
your research. You can do this by simply hitting ‘Ctrl’ and ‘Print Screen’ on your keyboard. If you
then click your right mouse key and ‘paste’, you should be left with a screen shot of your search: