In my last advice blog, I mentioned that Google Scholar is a good research tool, but now I would like to reiterate: GOOGLE SCHOLAR IS A GOOD RESEARCH TOOL. Your EPQ essay is supposed to be written in an academic style, and that means academic research and references. Google Scholar will ONLY show you academic sources like journal articles or university level papers which are perfect for gathering ideas for your essay to reference later. Honestly, the majority of my research was done on Google Scholar. Note: there are other similar academic source websites, but this is the best one I know of that is free – but check with your school/college to see if you can get access to any others.
Where else did I do my research, you ask? Well, in some cases I took it old school and read physical non-fiction books about my topic – it’s a little bit more effort, but what I found proved highly valuable to my essay. In other cases, I did just have a little wander on the internet. Academic sources are important, but you’re totally allowed to use other stuff too, as long as it’s reliable and relevant to your title. For example, I used a few news articles and official statistics. It’s also important to use a variety of sources for your research, so whilst it’s ok to have most of your references as journal articles, for example, try and include other types of source too. You can even use YouTube videos, documentaries and your teachers as sources!
Finally, I strongly advise printing out as much of your research as possible. Not only does this make things easier if you’re highlighting or annotating your sources, but it’s incredibly helpful later on down the line where you might want to quote a particular source or when you’re creating your reference list/bibliography.
That’s that guys! I appreciate that research is easier said than done, but you’ll find it stacks up pretty quickly once you get started and you’ll have everything you need before you know it. Then you can get down to actually writing your essay – look out next week for my top tips on that. See you then...