When writing papers at Ashford, you are often asked to use outside sources to support your claims.  It may seem that using Google to search for sources saves you time and effort over searching the library. But in reality, this approach can make the research process harder, as a Google search will locate numerous results, many of which are unreliable. Using unreliable sources reduces your credibility as a writer and can result in a lower grade on your paper.  Scholarly and other high-quality sources found in the library are an essential component of a well-written paper.

To learn about the research process and how to use the Ashford University Library, please watch the following library tutorials in order:

1.   Why Can’t I Just Google?

2.   Scholarly and Popular Resources

3.   How Do I Begin?

Once you have reviewed the above materials, you will need to complete the following activity and return it to me*as soon as possible:

1.  Go to Google Scholar (since you do not currently have access to the library) and find two scholarly articleson the topic of academic integrity or plagiarism in higher education. Please read the attached Google Scholar instruction sheet for tips on searching for articles in Google Scholar.

2.   Watch the tutorialcalled How to Read a Scholarly Article.

3.   Read the articlesyou selected using the tips you learned from the “How to Read a Scholarly Article” tutorial.

4.   Record the citation for each articlein a Word document.  Click hereto see where to find the citation.

5.  After each citation, write a paragraph for each articlesummarizing the main points of the article and explaining why you chose that article.  What about the article stood out to you?  Do not use the abstract of the article from the database – the summary must be in your own words. 


6.   Write a one-paragraph reflectionon the process of using the library to find articles.  What did you learn during this process?  What did you find easy?  Why?  What did you find difficult?  Why?  How are the articles you found in the library different from websites you would find through a Google search? Why is it important to use articles from the library, rather than Google? How do you plan to use the AU Library in your future coursework?


This activity is intended to help you understand the importance of using quality sources in your research as well as teach you the skills you’ll need to find these types of sources in the Ashford University Library.


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