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Islanders Rewired

A course guide for the students in Professor Hawkinson's seminar class


Many people say "don't use Wikipedia in your research!!" but we all use Wikipedia all the time! And often times, the information we get is perfect for our needs!

While you shouldn't cite Wikipedia in your research, it's a great place to start for several reasons. First, it gives you background information on your topic. It's hard to dig too deeply into some topics without a basic understanding of what's going on, and Wikipedia is a great place to get your bearings.

Second, Wikipedia can help you get a sense of the language professionals use when they talk about a certain topic. Maybe instead of "burnout" you're seeing the phrase "stress" or "compassion exhaustion." Write these terms down and use them when you start searching for the research you will go on to use in your project.

If you still don't want to use Wikipedia, that's fine! You can get background information from many encyclopedias including Credo Reference, listed below.

Using Google

Lots of us start at Google when we need to find out more on a certain subject. It's a great place to start! Google is good for so many things! If you want to find websites, like a historical society's webpage, a hospital's website, or blogs, Google is perfect. Google is most effective when you have an idea of what you're looking for.

When looking for sources you can trust, try to stick to .edu, .org, or .gov websites. To do this, enter your search terms in the search box and then add "" or "" or "". For example, if you're researching pollution in Texas, you could search "pollution, Texas,"

But don't stop there. Keep playing around with those search terms! Try "plastic pollution, TX" and "gulf coast, TX, oil". A big part of research is playing with your search terms until you find trusted, relevant sources.

Quick Search

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs