Research resources and reading skills If you can’t find many useful articles by academic professionals and experts then your topic may not be suitable for EPQ. If you’re fortunate to have access to a local university library or your organisation has subscribed to academic databases then you will have many resources at hand. However, there are other free resources available. The following list provides a few selected sources: Intute Although this closed in 2011 it is still available and is an excellent website to help your find authoritative online resources. http://www.intute.ac.uk Google scholar Is a database of scholarly literature. It includes citations, books, articles, journal articles and abstracts. http://scholar.google.com Project Gutenburg Over 42,000 free ebooks. Excellent for older standard works http://www.gutenberg.org ERIC Education Resources Information Centre. Full text articles are not always available (use the option “Full text available on ERIC” http://eric.ed.gov JURN A curated academic search-engine, indexing over 4,000 free articles in the arts and humanities http://www.jurn.org/ DOAJ Free quality assured scientific and scholarly journals. http://www.doaj.org British Library Excellent catalogue although only a small percentage of material can be viewed online http://bl.uk Research is one of the most important aspects of the EPQ. You need to have used a balanced and varied number of sources which could include websites, journals, books newspapers and articles. Remember to record the details of where you obtained the information as you will need to cite and reference EVERY idea, concept and quote that you have discussed in your essay/report. It is recommended to record these in your journal. It is very difficult to backfill missing references. Effective reading Effective reading skills are essential for your EPQ project and for studying at higher education. You can’t read every single thing that looks interesting. You need to be selective. Before getting online, open a book or article you should ask yourself… “Why am I doing this?!” It could be …. • To get a complete understanding • To get a general impression or explore a topic • To generate ideas • For specific information / fact finding • For analysis or critique • To re-read in readiness to write something up Knowing the reason should influence your approach. If you are generating ideas, you may use a mind map and record key thoughts and ideas and loosely categorise your findings. You may be looking for specific quotes and need to note the text carefully and record the reference list. You may just skim through a book looking for key words or themes and then bookmark pages for further reading. When you become an effective reader you will be regularly asking yourself: • Why am I reading? • What should I read? • What form will it take? • Where do I find it? • Is it worth reading? • How can I speed read? • What should I record? Keywords, page references, URLs, quotes, abbreviated, questions, paraphrased • What about the author? o How do I know this is true? o Is the conclusion justified? o Is this fact or opinion? What evidence is there for this? o Is this logical? o What personal conclusion can I draw from this?