Finding Source Materials
Now that we know about primary and secondary sources, let’s talk about where to find them. Mr. Lexington had some ideas about where to look.
It really helps to know some websites to use when I search for primary and secondary sources. But, I have to be honest. Getting started isn’t always easy. Mr. Lexington says how we start our search is really important to finding good sources for our project. He also tells us to analyze the websites, and figure out which ones are most reliable. But, what makes one website more reliable than another one? Here’s what Mr. Lexington has to say about that.
In the activity below, you will learn how to search online and determine if a website is a useful and reliable source of information.
Dig Deep for Good Research Materials
Start your search with questions or keywords that relate to your project. If the results are not helpful, add more specific words to find the most useful sources of information for your project.
Look at the actual URL, or web address, before you click the link. Is the resource from an educational or government institution? You know you’re on the right track if the web address ends in .edu or .gov.
Use websites that are connected to a school, a well-known organization, or museum to get correct information. These kinds of websites are dependable because they were created by experts with reliable information. Try not to use sites by people who may not be experts, like "Mary’s WWII Website."
Wikipedia is a favorite website for many students, but it is not always a reliable source. Why? Because anyone can add information to the website, not just experts. It’s always a good idea to check the bottom of Wikipedia articles for more dependable resources and links to university or museum websites.