“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.”—Zora Neale Hurston

“Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.”—Albert Szent-Gyorgyi


Jennings Senior High subscribes to two research databases. Gale Student Resources in Context (which has encyclopedic entries on topics across the American canon!) will probably be more useful for humanities research and Gale Science in Context for scientific inquiry. Fill in the following blank for the password (all lowercase): “Go Lady __________!” (The contract prohibits us from posting the password publicly. If you have any trouble guessing, please contact either Ms. Getman or myself.)

Wikipedia is the best known free encyclopedia. If, when reading, a claim sparks your interest, reference the work cited by the nearest footnote. In fact, the list of footnotes on each article is an excellent place to generate an initial research list. For academic or journal articles, I’d recommend Google Scholar. If you can’t find what you’re looking for there, here’s a list of a 100 more academic search engines.


Personally, I use Zotero to generate citations. Once you get the browser extension, so you can automatically generate citations from websites, books (by finding them on Amazon or a library website), etc. For smaller projects, I might use BibMe. Don’t worry too much about MLA vs. APA vs. Chicago vs. Turbanian style. When to use each depends on your field (e.g. psychology vs. literature), and most professors accept any citation scheme so long as it’s consistent.