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Computing: Research skills

Information and support on library resources for the computing subject area.

The research process

Research is an iterative process, like a cycle or spiral:

  • There may be one correct answer to your assignment, but often there are many ways to approach the same question.
  • While researching a topic you might find you answer other questions along the way.
  • Your ideal answer may change over time. The answer you would give in 1st year might not be the same answer you would give in 4th year because your knowledge of your subject area expands with each year.

The Information Cycle

In the moments after an event the Information Cycle begins. The cycle continues in the hours, days, weeks and months after the event. It includes information about the event over time across all media formats.

Choosing keywords

It is important to select the right keywords for your search.

If you're not getting the results you're expecting choose different keywords or use synonyms (e.g. teenager, adolescent, youth).


Video courtesy of Ray Howard Library

Research is a conversation

Research is like a conversation. There are always competing perspectives within any community of researchers. Be aware that you might be entering the beginning, middle or end of the conversation.

It is important also to be objective when researching your area of interest. Try not to let your own preferences get in the way of being objective and understanding all sides of the argument.


Video courtesy of University of Guelph Library

Plagiarism and referencing

It is essential to reference any material you use in your assignment or project. Not only does this prevent you from plagiarising, but it also shows your research skills.

Our guide to Academic Integrity explains what plagiarism is and why you need to avoid it.

DkIT uses the Harvard style of referencing. The full guide is available as a PDF online. We also have a quick online guide to help you get started.

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