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Geography: Evaluate

Starting points for research in Geography

Research is Reading

Reading critically is a crucial element to research. (Adapted from Harvard University Libraries' Interrogating Texts Research Guide)

  • Read, then re-read. Keep a dictionary at the ready.
  • Read actively. Write notes in the margins as you read rather than underlining or highlighting. 
  • Summarize the reading when your finished in your notes and consider the author's main points or findings.
  • Contextualize, compare, & contrast. Consider alternative perspectives to frame the work and compare the findings to other researchers' work on the topic.

Tutorial: How to Read a Scientific Paper by Michael Fosmire of Purdue University Libraries. (Licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)


Consider how you would integrate a source into your work.

Is it useful for:

  • Background Information: is it part of the body of literature related to your research?
  • Exhibit: does the study exhibit results that you will interpret for your yourself and for benefit of your reader?
  • Argument: do the study's results affirm, contradict, refine, or extend your own argument?
  • Method: will the study's methods inform your own methods or be replicated in part?

Adapted from Woodward & Ganski under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.

Earth, Environment & Geospatial Librarian

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