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Research Overview

We live in an age overflowing with sources of information. With so many information sources at our fingertips, knowing where to start, sorting through it all and finding what we want can be overwhelming! This handout provides answers to the following research-related questions: Where do I begin? Where should I look for information? What types of sources are available?

Conducting Primary Research

Primary research involves collecting data about a given subject directly from the real world. This section includes information on what primary research is, how to get started, ethics involved with primary research and different types of research you can do. It includes details about interviews, surveys, observations, and analysis.

Evaluating Sources of Information

Evaluating sources of information is an important step in any research activity. This section provides information on evaluating bibliographic citations, aspects of evaluation, reading evaluation, print vs. Internet sources, and evaluating Internet sources.

Searching the World Wide Web

This section covers finding sources for your writing in the World Wide Web. It includes information about search engines, Boolean operators, Web directories, and the invisible Web. It also includes an extensive, annotated links section.

Internet References

This page contains links and short descriptions of writing resources including dictionaries, style manuals, grammar handbooks, and editing resources. It also contains a list of online reference sites, indexes for writers, online libraries, books and e-texts, as well as links to newspapers, news services, journals, and online magazines.

Archival Research

This resource discusses conducting research in a variety of archives. It also discusses a number of considerations and best practices for conducting archival research.

This resources was developed in consultation with Purdue University Virginia Kelly Karnes Archives and Special Collections staff. 

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