Welcome to the Human Services 101 research guide that complements Reyna Moore's HUMSR 101 class (Spring 2010). By using it you'll how to become a more independent and effective researcher. Of course, if you find you need additional help, please remember that MJC Research Librarians are here to help
Twenty-first century students don’t need to spend a lot of time learning how to find information. After all, many of you are online everyday gathering information: connecting with people, finding open classes through PiratesNet, downloading driving directions, weather forecasts, song lyrics, recipes, and celebrity gossip.
But gathering information is not research! Research requires that you find information, of course, but it also demands much more from you. The MLA Handbook defines research in terms of exploring ideas, probing issues, solving problems, or making arguments relating to existing ideas. Yes, you need information to complete these tasks, but you also need lots of time to read the information you find, to reflect on it in terms of what you already know and what you are learning, and to write multiple drafts of speeches/papers so that you can present your research as clearly, logically, and successfully as possible.
This guide offers you a set of steps to follow that will move you beyond the mere gathering of information and into the realm of real academic research. It will help you develop a research strategy that will, with time and practice, enable you to become a more efficient researcher, saving you time and sanity.
Good luck with your projects!