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Reference and Education

A Student Guide to Gathering Relevant & Reliable Information

Writing assignments may look like an easy task but is it? Well, the answer is a big NO! The most highlighted hurdle is to gather the information. Why? Because the reliability of facts and figures is the core element on which professors test the credibility of your assignments. To achieve a high grade, you need to keep a check as to whether the data you are putting in is accurate, relevant, up to date or not.

Gathering information is a single term used for multiple things. These things include:

  • Facts
  • Figures
  • Images
  • Ideas
  • Arguments

In this article, we will look for sources from where quality information can be extracted. Not just this, you will get a chance to learn about the effective procedure that can lead you to relevant information. So, without any further delay, let’s get going.

Where To Look For The Information?

When it comes to gathering information, the most crucial thing is to choose a reliable spot. In the beginning, you may go for the sources suggested by your professors and generally speaking, it is the right thing to do. The list of guidelines that comes along with your assignments is very important. Since they have everything related to your topic, they can easily lead you to potential information.

And if you are not given any guideline list along with the assignment, you may need to gather the hints yourself. For instance, look for Key or subject words as they are the ones that describe the topic you are researching in the best way possible. To identify these keywords, several methods are used. Some of them are:

  • Read and understand the title of your assignment. It is the best place to identify the keywords.
  • If you are given a reading list, you can fetch the keywords from the titles of the elements in that reading list.
  • You can use dictionaries and encyclopedias to find the phrases and words that are used alternatively.
  • Go for synonyms as they are the best keywords.
  • Find words that end differently and make the same meaning.

As an example, take a title: “Explore how the media reports crime in the UK.”

The keywords in this title are the United Kingdom, crime, and the media. However, you do not need to limit yourself to these words. Go for some of the related words like television, newspapers, radio, mass media, or crimes of particular types such as violence, mugging, fraud, and burglary.

Tips To Conduct A Research To Gather Information

  • Shortlisting your keywords before you carry out the research will make it more convenient for you to reach relevant information.
  • Try to avoid writing the whole title in the search bar as doing this can make the search engine miss the important keywords.
  • If your search query is leading you to quite a few result options, try using different keywords.
  • If you are getting too many results and selecting the specific one is getting difficult, try to go with more specific keywords.
  • Make sure you are carrying out the research in a strategic way. That is, keep a check on what keywords you have already used. Doing this also reduces the chances of duplication.
  • While conducting author research, just type in the name without worrying about the initials.
  • If you are quite unsure about the keywords, you can go with the words used in the title or the reference material provided along with the assignment.
  • Before you search or select which source is the best suitable, think about the limitations. For example, if you keep in mind that you cannot include information that dates back more than 2016, you are likely to not go for sources that are updated before 2016. Doing this will shorten the list of sources and you will be left with only the relevant material.

Where To Look for Information?

Looking for information can be a hard thing. But the following ways can surely help you.

  • One of the best ways to conduct research is by checking scholarly databases. These databases are the best way to discover resources that are credible enough and be included in your academic writing tasks. You can find these databases online but ensure to look only for reliable sites.
  • Going to the newspaper can also be a brilliant idea since they are filled with all the reliable data, information, and current or previous happenings.
  • Give Wikipedia a chance. Although it is an ocean of information and deciding what to include and what not to include is difficult, still, there are chances to find relevant yet approved information.
  • Visiting the library can also get you the most relevant data. Students often neglect it while researching but it is truly heaven when it comes to gathering data.

How To Check The Credibility Of A Source?

While looking for relevant and reliable information for academic writing tasks, this question may have crossed your mind: how would I know whether the source I am considering is credible or not? Below, we have enlisted the whole criteria on which you can assure the credibility of any given source.

1.   Look for the Length and Depth

While considering any source, look for the length and depth of the content written. See how lengthy it is and whether it has all the required information or not. For example, see if there is material like an abstract, a reference list, and documented data.

2.   Look for the Target Audience

When assessing an article’s credibility, it’s critical to consider who the article’s intended audience is. Sources sometimes have a certain aim in mind, which can lead to bias.

3.   What is the goal of the article?

Ask yourself, just as you should with the audience, what the article is attempting to accomplish. What is their ultimate objective and how are they persuading you of that?

4.   Who is the writer behind it

Always consider who wrote the piece and how well-known they are in the field. Take a look at their other published works as well.

5.   Can it be trusted?

Overall, it’s critical to consider the source’s credibility. What type of website does it appear on? Take a step back and look at the larger picture.

6.   Check the date of the information

Look at the article’s publication date or the precise points they make in the article. It’s unlikely that it’s relevant to your present research if it’s from a few years ago.

7.   Can it be proved if required

While an essay may appear to be quite compelling, many people have a natural ability to persuade others. Stop and consider whether or not what they’re asserting can be verified.


Writing an academic assignment is not as easy as you may think. It requires a lot of research, strategizing, and hard work just to gather and write down facts in such a way that it looks good. Other than gathering information and writing it down, academic assignments have to fulfil all the requirements placed by professors. If you are having a hard time managing it, you can easily get services like a cheap essay writing service. And if you are willing to get the job done on your own but the hardship of relevant research holds you back, then this article is all you need. We have enlisted all the effective tips that can lead you to relevant information.

We hope it works for you.

Good Luck!

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