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Research Basics for Junior and Senior High School Students: Find & Evaluate Sources

This guide will help Junior and Senior High School students understand the research process, identify scholarly sources, create a reference page, take notes, and more!

Gather Information

Once you have selected a topic, it's time to gather information.

On the Find & Evaluate page of this guide, you will learn how to:

  • Search for quality information
  • Limit your searches for better results
  • Test your information for reliability

On the Write & Edit Your Paper page of this guide, you will learn how to:

  • Take notes
  • Compile a bibliography
  • Write your paper

How & Where to Find Information

When searching, try using the terms "and", "or", "not" to expand or narrow your results.

Become a reference miner!

If you found an article with relevant information, check the citations. Are there any additional articles listed?


Library Resources

Start your search with the library catalog and library databases.

Checking for Reliability

Test the reliability of your sources with:

  • Credibility: timeliness of the information
  • Relevance: how the information meets your need
  • Authority: how reliable is the source 
  • Accuracy: correctness of the information
  • Purpose: the reason the information exists


Checking for credibility (or trustworthiness) involves evaluating the author's: expertise, point of view (bias), and date of publication.