Research Ate My Brain: The Panic-Proof Guide to Surviving Homework

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9781550379389: Research Ate My Brain: The Panic-Proof Guide to Surviving Homework

The ultimate cure for today's homework woes.

The panic and doubt that comes with the assignment of a research project is no different today than it was decades ago. The advent of cyberspace, however, means that access to information today is greater and quicker than ever before, and that the way research is done has changed forever. How can students find their way through this information overload?

Research Ate My Brain is here to help. Written in a breezy, humorous style, this handy handbook shows students how to master the vast and complex resources that are available. Each chapter breaks the research process down into bite-sized pieces:

  • how to access invaluable library materials (books, journals, newspapers, databases, audio and video);
  • secrets to successful surfing online;
  • how to identify and source reliable research sites;
  • best bets for fact gathering; and
  • most importantly, evaluating and organizing all that information.

Sidebars offer insights on everything from how to chat with an electronic librarian to finding obscure centers of dependable information around the globe. A slew of timesaver tips promote efficiency and maximize results.

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About the Author:

With 99 branches and 11 million items in circulation, Toronto Public Library is the largest library system in Canada and the busiest library in North America.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Foreword

When Annick Press approached the Toronto Public Library about collaborating on a book for teens about how to research, it was a perfect lit.

Responding to the complex yet interesting needs of youth is a priority for the Library. Since the Library opened in 1884, users have benefited from free access to up-to-date resources. Today, the Library has also adapted to the fast-paced Internet age. We currently provide access to over 140 research databases. The Library also offers free Internet classes on topics like online searching and homework help. In fact, it is these Internet classes that inspired Annick Press to create this book.

In the process of completing this book, the Library held focus groups with teens. We observed that most students possessed limited knowledge about conducting effective and efficient information searches. For instance, while students use search engines a lot, they seldom use -- or know about -- other tools like journals, subject directories, and databases.

Research Ate My Brain synthesizes the best resources offered by the Toronto Public Library as well as libraries around the world and the Internet. We aimed to produce a book that is both practical and relevant to today's students. While the tone will engage younger students, the information is just as useful for older students and adults.

Sir Francis Bacon once said that knowledge is power. In this book, students will learn how to access that power and how to use it to complete stellar projects.

Josephine Bryant City Librarian, Toronto Public Library

--

Introduction Brain Strain!

You've had two months to complete your research project. It's 1 am. Candy wrappers cover the floor and you're jumping off the walls from a sugar buzz. You and your friends' instant-messaging names are alike: "I'm gonna die!" ... "Project due in 7 hrs!" ... You count down to the deadline throughout the night.

Sound familiar?

The hardest part of a research project can be getting started. It's much easier to procrastinate. And doing research can be a pain. Your teacher wants you to go to the library, but the Internet is so convenient -- a giant pool of information, though who creates that info, or how reliable it is, you can't really be sure. So, where do you start? At the library catalog? You've searched the Net and got thousands of hits, and the few you've checked out looked pretty suspect. You need a road map to the right stuff.

Research Ate My Brain shows you how to track down the best information for school research projects. It's a refresher on the incredible resources you'll discover in any library -- magazines, newspaper archives, books, videos, databases, unique collections -- and it shows you how to find what you need in them, fast. You'll also learn new ways to use the Internet's powerful search tools and how to access library resources online. You'll find strategies to help you figure out what's good info and what's not, time-saving tips, and loads of helpful research websites. Once you've learned solid research skills, you'll use them over and over in future projects. And you know there will be plenty of those.

Still not sure where to start? No problem. Our first (short) chapter begins with ... how to start.

Ab. Velasco Author, Toronto Public Library

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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