Research Tips

Getting started with research

Using search engines

At our meeting in July 2017, John pointed out the value in trying different search terms - changing a word will often bring up a whole new set of results.
He usually skips the sponsored advertisements that arrive at the top of a page of results, and those down the right hand side.
John also suggested using various search engines.
Other members of the group noted that a large number of results are of no use at all - persistence is the key. Frances said that she often narrows the results to Images, following up interesting ones by clicking on the website the image occurs in.

Primary and secondary sources

Primary sources are items from the time - first hand accounts, diaries, letters, photographs, contemporary objects.
Secondary sources are accounts that draw on those first hand accounts.
A book about Samuel Pepys would be a secondary source, whilst the diaries that Pepys wrote would be a primary source.

Referencing websites
Harvard system, as anywhere else: Author, year, title of page, publisher, URL, date you looked at the page.
The publisher is the organization that runs the page, and can be left out if it is the same as the author.