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English and Literature Resources: Research Questions

Citation Resources

Research Questions

When searching in a database, critical thinking skills are essential.  Don't waste time and paper!  These questions can be used for any research assignments. Spend a few minutes reviewing the citation and/or abstract information and consider the following details:

Author: who wrote this and what are his/her credentials and affiliations?

Source: is this a scholarly, professional, popular, or trade publication?

Publisher: who produced this? government? university? corporation?

Date: when was this published?

Audience: for whom is this written? general public? scholars? practitioners?

Purpose: are the findings clearly stated? Are there clear biases?

Data: is methodology explained? Are charts, graphs, illustrations clearly presented?

Conclusions: do the findings support the thesis?

References: are there footnotes and citations leading to related work?

Compare: how does this article compare with other articles in this field?