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8Y Health Project Research  

Last Updated: Jul 22, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Background Information

Encyclopedias are a good place to start for background and general information.

Be sure to choose High School for your reading level.

  • Encyclopedia Brittannica
    Choose High School as your level.
  • Grolier Online
  • World Book Encyclopedia
  • Gale Encyclopedia of Science
    Designed for high school students and lay adults, this collection of entries covers major areas of science, including biology, genetics, microbiology, astronomy, chemistry, physics, engineering, technology, geology, weather, archaeology, phychology, mathematics and medicine.

    The search box is a small window on the left hand side of the page.

If you Google. . . .

Google can be an excellent search engine, but be aware that you will get a lot of websites that are NOT useful. Always evaluate your sources!

  • Look at the url. .gov, .edu, .org, .com all mean different things.
    •   (On the other hand, .edu does not necessarily mean it's a good source. Could be another student project.)
  • Authority - Who is the author of the information? Is he/she an expert in the field?
    • Look for an About Us section for more information.
    • Google the author/organization to crosscheck your source.
  • Currency - When was the information published or last updated?
    • Look at the bottom of the page for dates.
  • Bias - Why was this information written? Was it written to inform, persuade, entertain, sell? What is the author's purpose?

The process of evaluating a website can be confusing and difficult, which is why teachers and librarians recommend using a database to search for newspapers and magazines. Those have all gone through a process to get published, including being read by editors and others.

Magazine, Newspaper, Journal Articles

Alternatives to Google.

  • EBSCO: Health Magazines and Journals
    You need to choose which health databases to search:

    Choose Health Source Consumer Edition for information geared for regular people on many health topics including the medical sciences, food sciences and nutrition, childcare, sports medicine and general health. Health Source: Consumer Edition provides access to nearly 80 full text, consumer health magazines.

    Alt Healthwatch will include articles and reports that address alternative and holistic medicine.

    MEDLINE provides authoritative medical information on medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, pre-clinical sciences, and much more. Created by the National Library of Medicine. Pretty technical.

    For any of these, be sure to click on Full Text.
  • Masterfile Premier
    This will search magazines and journals on all topics.
  • Honolulu Star-Advertiser
    Searches the Honolulu Star-Advertiser to the year 1996.
  • SIRS Researcher
    Searches newspapers and general magazines to 1989.

Keywords Matter!!

Finding good keywords helps your search go faster and more efficiently. Add to your list of keywords as you find new ones in your searches or good articles/websites.

Less is more.

Tone matters (ex. "tummy ache" versus "stomach pains"). Use expert terms.

Put exact phrases in quotation marks (ex. "type II diabetes").

When you find a good source, use it to add to your keyword list AND look at the source's bibliography/works cited for the author's sources. Use those!


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