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Independent Learning and Role of the University Library in Conducting Research Assignment

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Hamza Ufitabe Gafurama
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Information Systems
Independent Learning and Role of the University Library in Conducting Research Assignment
1.

How to Narrow Information

When a topic is too broad that is not manageable you will find that there is too much information and therefore the focus would have to be narrowed.
To help narrow focus a few simple questions can help achieve this

what you know or don’t know about the topic?

what time period you covering

what place or geographic area you will be covering

trying to focus your topic in terms of specific type or class, people, places or things e.g study of traffic patterns • choose one lens through which to view the research problem, e.g rather than studying the role of government in Eastern religions, study the role of government in Hinduism
You can apply one or two of strategies above to determine if that gives you a manageable research problem to investigate. Combining multiple strategies risks creating the opposite problem, your topic may become too narrowly defined and you can't locate enough research or data to support your study.

2.

How to Evaluate Information

Questions that should be asked when evaluating sources.







3.

How information was found - where information was found web or library catalog? where you found the information will help in determining its usefulness.
Who is the intended audience - knowing the intended audience will help decide the usefulness of the information. What is the purpose - is it designed to sell or project a service or present research findings?
Who is the author - Is the author named? Are the author’s qualifications / credentials / professional affiliations given?
Who published it - Reputable publishers normally produce reputable information.
How up to date is it - Some subject areas such as medicine demand a very high level of current information. Other in subject areas such as literature published several years ago may be just as useful.

How Synthesize Information

Synthesizing takes the process of summarizing one step further. Instead of just restating the important points from text, synthesizing involves combining ideas and allowing an evolving understanding of text.





4.

Consider your purpose in writing. What are you trying to accomplish in your essay?
Select and carefully read your sources, according to your purpose. Identify those aspects or parts of your sources that will help you in fulfilling your purpose.
Formulate a thesis. Your thesis is the main idea that you want to present in your synthesis. It must be expressed as a complete sentence and include a statement of the topic and your assertion about that topic.
Sometimes the thesis is the first sentence, but more often it is the final sentence of the first paragraph.
Decide how you will use your source material and take notes. How will the information and the ideas in your sources help you to fulfill your purpose?

How to Edit Written Materials

Editing is preparing written work for publication by correcting, condensing, or modifying it. aspects of writing that are within the editing process include:







5.

the overall logical structure and balance of the thesis adherence to your stated title / research question / plans appropriate content under appropriate headings use of active / passive voice, and of past / present tense clarity of explanation length of sentences, and economy of word use

How to Format Written Materials According to Chicago Reference Style

The Chicago Manual of Style presents two basic documentation systems: (1) notes and bibliography and
(2) author-date. Choosing between the two often depends on subject matter and the nature of sources cited. The notes and bibliography style is preferred by many in the humanities, including those in literature, history, and the arts. This style presents bibliographic information in notes and, often, a bibliography.The author-date system is used by those in the physical, natural, and social sciences. In this system, sources are briefly cited in the text, usually in parentheses, by author’s last name and date of publication. examples notes & bibliography sample
Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (New York: Penguin, 2006),
99–100.
Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin, 2006. author-date sample
Pollan, Michael. 2006. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin.
(Pollan 2006, 99–100)

6.

How to Incorporate Graphs in Written Communication

If your data are too numerous or complicated to be described adequately in a reasonable amount of space, figures and tables can be effective ways of communicating lots of information without cluttering up your text. Tables present lists of numbers or text in columns and can be used to synthesize existing literature to explain variables.
Figures are visual presentations of results. They come in the form of graphs, charts, drawings, photos, or maps. Figures provide visual impact and can effectively communicate your primary finding.

References



Welcome to the UCLA Library Research Guides. Retrieved March 09, 2016, from http:// guides.library.ucla.edu/ Research Guides. Retrieved March 09, 2016, from http://libguides.usc.edu/



Evaluate information you find. Retrieved March 09, 2016, from https://www.library.uq.edu.au/ research-tools-techniques/evaluate-information-you-find •

Synthesis Information. Retrieved March 09, 2016, from https://www.msu.edu/~jdowell/135/
Synthesis.html#howto



Summarizing and Synthesizing: What's the Difference? — Climate Change and the Polar Regions —
Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears. Retrieved March 09, 2016, from http://beyondpenguins.ehe.osu.edu/ issue/climate-change-and-the-polar-regions/summarizing-and-synthesizing-whats-the-difference •

The art of editing. Retrieved March 09, 2016, from http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/ld/resources/writing/ writing-resources/editing •

The Chicago Manual of Style Online: Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide. Retrieved March 09, 2016, from http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html



Figures and Charts. Retrieved March 09, 2016, from http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/figures-andcharts/

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