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Advanced Math and Science Research: Welcome to this Guide

How to Use This Guide

Welcome to the Advanced Math and Science Research (AMSR) Research Guide. This guide has been created especially for you to help you conduct scholarly research for your AMSR projects. Click on each tab to find information, tutorials, and even sample papers to give you the resources you need as you conduct original research. Stop by the library or email us if you have any questions. We're always happy to help!


1. Task Definition

  • Define your assignment & identify information needed to complete it.
  • Restate the assignment in your own words. What are you interested in learning?
  • Gather basic information about your topic by reading articles, web pages etc.
  • Talking with teachers/parents/librarians is also helpful.

2. Information Seeking Strategies

  • Make a list of all possible sources & select the best ones.
  • Choose from nonfiction, news articles, reference books, web pages, databases, directories and multimedia encyclopedias.

3. Location and Access

  • Locate sources (intellectually and physically) & find information within the texts.
  • Consult the library catalog, library reference section, search engines, and web-based references on this Research Guide.
  • Use a graphic organizer to map out your topic and sub topics



All Photos © Chip Riegel

Conducting Research

Even if you have written papers for English and/or communication, research for science projects is different:


  1. Primary literature has a different meaning in the sciences. Scientists refer to published articles that describe actual research as primary literature. This means that what humanities scholars call secondary sources  is primary literature in the sciences.

  2. Newer is better. Most scientific information is time sensitive and always changing as knowledge grows. This means that for many fields (Geology, mathematics, and history of science are exceptions.), the most current articles are the most accurate and useful.

  3. Open access means that some scholarly science journals, mainly in medical biology and in physics, are freely available on the web. Open access occurs when there is strong competition between publishers and/or government intervention.

  4. Copyright effects access. If journal articles are not freely available due to open access, they are locked down due to copyright. This means you can only find them through full text databases such as those on EBSCO SmartSearch or at libraries that have print or electronic subscriptions.


4. Use of Information

  • Read, hear, view & extract the most valuable information
  • Use skimming and scanning to find information that addresses your topic.
  • Look for key words, pictures, read headlines and first & last paragraphs of articles to help find the “right” information.
  • Take notes & cite your sources – NoodleTools will help you use note cards, cite your source and remember to summarize, paraphrase or quote. 

5. Synthesis

  • Choose the format of your project and organize your research notes according to how you will share the information.
  • If your format is a paper, begin by writing an outline.

6. Evaluation

  • Judge the product and the process.
  • Make a rubric to evaluate your work. Did you meet the objective?