October 14th, 2008

From Newspaper to Research Paper

There are many legitimate reasons that learners don’t use newspapers when they do research:

  • The articles have little depth or perspective on large issues.
  • They are not scholarly or peer reviewed.
  • Tight deadlines make it hard to stop mistakes from creeping in.

Those are important considerations, but before you completely write newspapers off, remember that they love to report on recent events. That includes recent happenings in the scholarly realm. And reporters love to include numbers.

Articles in newspapers can bring important, scholarly information to your attention:

  • Announce the findings of interesting academic research.
  • Summarize government reports and laws.
  • Provide statistics from research organizations or government agencies.
  • Identify major individuals, associations, research foundations, or other organizations working in your field.

Once you’ve identified that important information you want, you can search the library and the internet to get back to the original source.

For example, this recent article from the New York Times, “Full of Doubts, U.S. Shoppers Cut Spending,” cites consumer confidence statistics from the Conference Board. Knowing that, you can go to the Conference Board database in the Capella library to explore their consumer confidence data along with their other economic resources.

– Erin

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