Important Research Skills Every Student Must Know

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Research Skills

Anyone can surf the internet but not everyone knows how to navigate their way through to find authentic resources. Research is required for all studies and jobs. A hefty amount of data is produced on the internet every day. Therefore, when carrying out research it is essential to know the techniques and skills to find the best information that fulfills your requirement.

Apart from finding authentic sources, there are other things to consider when carrying out research. But most importantly online research requires you to have a steady connection. Hence, it is essential to have a subscription to a reliable internet plan like Optimum internet plans to avoid lag. Here are a few skills that help make online research easier.

Think of Appropriate Questions

When coming up with questions it is essential that you encourage your students to think hard and be patient about deciding on a topic. The question is what sets them on the path to research. It gives them clarity about the purpose of their topic and the direction they want to head in. They can read about controversial issues around the world and develop a topic accordingly. But make sure the topic is course-appropriate.

It is better if the students select a topic that is of interest to them. This will help make them stay motivated throughout the research and will result in better research material.

Carry Out Primary Research

When the topics are finalized, it is then time to carry out preliminary research regarding them. Surfing through Google or Wikipedia might give them a brief idea about the previous work done on the chosen topic. However, let them know that both these sites cannot always be used as reliable sources. These tools can give them a clearer understanding of the topic and the direction they should take it in.

Furthermore, primary research will even let them get to know the hang of using keywords for better search results. This is an essential research skill. Using appropriate keywords can help harvest better results.

Check Sources

After carrying out the initial search, the students should jot down their findings and collect the sources of information. It is important to encourage them to first evaluate the sources they get the information from. This is so because not all the links are reliable and they can easily add in unauthentic information. Therefore, it is necessary to check if the website is reliable, up-to-date, and popular. This can be done by checking the currency, authority, purpose, accuracy, and relevance of a site.

Moreover, apart from checking for authenticity, teach them to check the sources based on accuracy, social and cultural context, validity, and importance. Encourage them to find a site that fulfills all the above benchmarks and one that does not. Comparing them will help them distinguish between an authentic and unauthentic website.

Discover Beyond the Surface

Students often search for a topic and stop at the first search result they find trustworthy. This restricts them from getting a broad perspective on the topic by limiting the information to just one source. Encourage them to find multiple trustworthy sources and extract important information from each of them. They can choose from various sources like government websites, podcasts, independent organizations, research papers, and news articles. This even helps them to cross-reference the sources to ensure if it is accurate or not.

Respect Ownership

Educate the students on the importance of the rights of the producers and creators for their intellectual property. Students often don’t see piracy as stealing. Discuss with them how it would make them feel if someone downloaded their hard work without paying for it. Explain to them how piracy is just like working in an office or any other job and not getting paid for it.

Furthermore, emphasize the importance of citing information. Giving credits where they are due is absolutely necessary and it makes the research look more genuine. It increases their credibility and eliminates violations of academic integrity. Let them know that not giving citations often leads to plagiarism.

Use Networks

Social networks and information tools are a great way to gather information. You can encourage your students to use social sites for research and ask their topic questions to their friends and family. This can help them get further input and opinions from different people and aid in their research. Members of their networks could contribute a lot and they’ll be getting insight from broad perspectives.


Carrying out research can be very easy if you know the proper techniques and skills. Finding relevant information is common but not all sites can be relied on. Hence, using appropriate research skills can help turn your research papers into authentic sources that other people might even use later on.

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