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Modern World Research Project

Be sure you understand the assignment and what is being asked. Clarify any questions with your teacher.
After you pick your topic, develop some understanding and beginning background knowledge of the subject.

Here are some basic steps in the research process. (Courtesy of Cambridge Rindge & Latin School)
1. Select your topic.

2. List keywords and phrases relating to your topic.

3. Go to an encyclopedia or another reference source to get an overview.

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There will be some interesting facts there, but dig deeper by searching one of the library databases for trustworthy and reliable resources.

4. How is a library database different from a website?

Library databases


  • Library databases get their information from professionals or experts in the field.

  • Websites can be written by anyone regardless of expertise.

  • Library databases contain published works where facts are checked.

  • Website content is not necessarily checked by an expert.

  • Library databases are easy to cite in a bibliography and may create the citation for you.

  • Websites often don’t provide the information necessary to create a complete citation.

  • Library databases can help you narrow your topic or suggest related subjects.

  • Websites often aren’t organized to support student research needs.

  • Library databases are updated frequently and include the date of publication.

  • Websites may not indicate when a page is updated.

5. Database resources are reliable, but how do you find a reliable website?


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Website Evaluation

Start with the URL and note the domain

The most common top-level domains and the type of site they indicate are:

  • com commercial business or for-profit organizations

  • gov United States government agencies

  • edu educational institutions

  • mil United States military organizations

  • org non-profit organizations

In general, .gov and .edu websites are more reliable than .com web sites.

Cite It Before You Write It

Remember library databases usually give the source citation, so there is no need to use a citation generator
Use a citation generator when using information from a website.

How to use Easybib