Anyone at anytime is using the Internet for a variety of reasons. That's the problem! The Internet is a great resource but isn't necessarily the best place to start a school project. Here are some tips to get you started:
Step 1: First, ask yourself: Do I know what I am talking about? Can I write a paragraph on my subject? If the answer to these two questions is no, the first step you need to take is to read an encyclopedia article about your subject. Encyclopedias are one of the basic tools in research. If you read an encyclopedia article about your topic, you not only learn a few basic facts but you also learn valuable key words that can help you research. Key words expand your subject when you can't find what you are looking for or when you need additional information.
Step 2: Now that you know something about your subject, the next step is to checkout the "paid web." The "paid web" is sometimes called subscription databases, or in our district, A-H eResources. These online magazines, journals, newspapers, books, etc. cost money and require a user name and password. Most authors and publishers want to make money and seldom give away their work. You can be 100% sure the information from the "paid web" has been RADCAB!
Step 3: After completing Steps 1 & 2, its time to surf the web and apply the RADCAB rules: Relevancy, Appropriateness, Detail, Currency, Authority, and Bias. The Internet is the "free web" so there are no guarantees on what you will find. Only if you ride the WWW with the RADCAB, can you be truly sure the information is worthy of your school project.