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Springwood High School

Springwood High School

A School for All

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Before you start it is important to gain some background knowledge about your topic. This will give you a good point to start your research.

Background information helps you come up with a comprehensive list of keywordsto use when you're doing your research. Here are some good places to start:


Wikipedia is a fantastic source of general information and an excellent starting point for research, as long as it isn't the only thing you read.

You can search Wikipedia for the names of people, places, movements, books, etc. – anything relevant to your assignment question – as well as synonymsfor these words.

Although Wikipedia can be written and edited by anyone, warnings on suspect articles help you evaluate what you're reading. If an entry is a stub or doesn't have any references, it's still worth reading; just bear in mind that it might not be reliable.

Other resources

The reference collection in the library is another great way to get reliable background information on your topic.


The reference collection contains books that you can't borrow because people use them all the time. The reference collection contains books like dictionaries, atlases and encyclopedias.

Recording the details

You can take notes if you want to, but one thing you must do is record the bibliographic details of everything you look at. This is to ensure you don't accidentally pass someone else's ideas and words as your own. This is known as plagiarism.

It is a good idea to get into the habit of recording every resource you look at as you  never know whether the resources you've found will be important later, so save yourself the hassle of coming back for more details. Start a Word™ document as your bibliography, and add to it as you go.

To start your bibliography click on thereferences tab in your word document. Then click on manage sources. Select new and then fill in the details to begin creating your bibliography