POS 3713/6933 Basics
Library Resources for POS 3713/6933
One comment on evaluating resources. The How to Guides and More page provides another set of tutorials and helpful links. When you are using the USF Libraries resources, you are using resources that have already been evaluated at some level. However, when you do a general Internet search, such as through Yahoo, Google, Lycos, or Altavista, you are accessing pages that could have been created by anyone. Look at these resources with a critical eye. The How-to evaluate sources guide will provide you with points to keep in mind.
For example, take a look at The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases for arthritis information. This organization is a division of the National Institute of Health. On the other hand, a site such as the MSM Supplement Center might also have valid information, but their main objective is to sell a product. As with any paper advertisement, this would not be an appropriate research source unless comparing advertisement methods was part of your research.
Want to know the "real" story about man walking on the moon? Take a look at A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Moon. They have proof that Apollo 11 never traveled to the moon at all! On the other hand, look at the Wikipedia entry for Bad Astronomy from Dr. Philip Plait. The link to his page (which has been down recently) is linked from the Wikipedia page, along with information about his efforts. He discusses misconceptions about Astronomy and sets the record straight. Would you prefer a government site about space exploration? Well, that's an easy one. Take a look at NASA.
DON'T do it! Plagiarizing is stealing other people's intellectual property! It's also a good way to fail your class. Plagiarism happens when you use someone else's words without quoting them or providing your source of information. Even if you paraphrase their words, use their line of thinking, information or ideas, cite your source of information! This also applies when you use a special term coined by the author of your source. When in doubt, provide a citation to let the reader know where you found your information. There are some good sites that provide not only further information on plagiarizing and how to avoid it, but some specific examples of paraphrasing versus plagiarizing. Please take a look:
- Avoiding Plagiarism (from The Owl at Purdue University) http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/589/01/
- Take the Plagiarism tutorial and quiz created by our own Center for 21st Century Teaching Excellence http://www.cte.usf.edu/plagiarism/plagindex.html