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What general reference sites do you use?Obviously Wikipedia is the big one. I also use...

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alexb2 | eNotes Employee

Posted March 2, 2011 at 9:50 AM via web

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What general reference sites do you use?

Obviously Wikipedia is the big one. I also use RefDesk.com for specific reference links, and sometimes sites like Answers.com.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 2, 2011 at 10:03 AM (Answer #2)

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Depends on what I'm looking for.

If you teach for a school that subscribes, ProQuest is great.  It allows you to search for articles (scholarly journals, regular magazines, newspapers) on any topic you need.  It's pretty in-depth, of course.

For more general information, I've found that about.com is often useful.  I've heard that its content isn't always accurate, but I've had pretty good luck with it when I search for general stuff.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:50 AM (Answer #3)

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Does your state have a virtual library?  It is a wonderful avenue for all sorts of information; and, there are usually multiple sources available.  ProQuest as mentioned above is wonderful.

Some schools have a webpath express available through its library online.  This site offers access to everything that is in the library.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 2, 2011 at 12:28 PM (Answer #4)

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I don't know if it is just me, but I actually always counsel my students, if they are going to use wikipedia, to make sure they find another website that supports the claim that wikipedia makes. I find so often that students just go to wikipedia without critically engaging with the information they find there.

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rskardal | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted March 2, 2011 at 1:56 PM (Answer #5)

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It may be too early to point this out, but no one uses Britannica?

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jmj616 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted March 2, 2011 at 5:30 PM (Answer #6)

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At the risk of sounding like a paid cheerleader, three cheers for enotes.com.  There really is a tremendous amount of information on a wide variety of topics.  I have always found the information reliable and well-written.  Just type a word or phrase in the search bar at the top right-hand corner of any enotes page.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 2, 2011 at 8:23 PM (Answer #7)

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I am somewhat hypocritical on this.  I tell my students not to rely on wikipedia, but it is usually the first place I go when I want to know something!   Since I started using enotes, I have found myself using it more and more, especially if I have a specific question.

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lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted March 2, 2011 at 10:48 PM (Answer #8)

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Depending upon the requirements of an assignment, I teach my students how to access the data bases available electronically through our school's library.  These resources are always of the quality I want my students to use, and gives them a standard by which to judge other sources.  I personally tend to just type my topic into the Google search engine, and then scan the results -- focusing not on the title of web page, but on the URL of the site.  I search for reputable sites -- especially org or edu sites, but also evaluate the information at sites that are more dedicated to the subject of my topic.  For example, I am more likely to read the information at "poetry.org" than I am at "about.com/poetry."

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 3, 2011 at 4:03 AM (Answer #9)

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I have often used proquest, we are lucky enough to have a full subscription to that.  One of the really fun ones that we have opens up access to an archive of historical newspapers and it is really interesting to pull those up.

I try to use Wikipedia as a jumping off point to find more accurate or reliable sources by scrolling to the bottom, but I also end up using it as a source more often than I'd like to admit.

 

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 3, 2011 at 7:08 AM (Answer #10)

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I have used GALE, ProQuest, and I only use Wikipedia to get quick facts rather than in-depth information. Often, Wikipedia helps with the basics and from there on you can continue searching online. However, I often tell my students to go straight to the "mother ship" of resources such as the APA, ALA, MLA, etc. sites to get relevant information about things they really want to know.

 

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted March 7, 2011 at 8:58 AM (Answer #11)

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I am somewhat hypocritical on this.  I tell my students not to rely on wikipedia, but it is usually the first place I go when I want to know something!   Since I started using enotes, I have found myself using it more and more, especially if I have a specific question.

A good trick to use is to highlight a sentence you're interested in then Google (or other) search it. Nine times out of ten, the whole Wikipedia article will appear on its parent site, which is very often a reliable academic or other source. I always do this when I want to verify Wiki information and find a reliable source.

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krcavnar | High School Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted April 22, 2011 at 10:40 AM (Answer #12)

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I use GALE, Encyclopedia Britannica, and other legitimate databases.  I do not allow my kids to cite Wikipedia for any research paper or discussion.  I will allow my students to look up and review a topic on Wikipedia but then they must find a good, reliable source to validate anything that they found on Wikipedia.  We also get into discussion about primary and secondary resources and discuss bias in writing.  This gives them a better understanding of why we need to use different sources for gathering material.

I agree with #8 regarding using Google.  I also "google" a topic and then review the results for valid websites. 

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