The Research Virtuoso: How to Find Anything You Need to Know

The Research Virtuoso: How to Find Anything You Need to Know - Toronto Public Library A confession: I managed to make my way through an undergraduate degree without ever really learning to research. My high school teachers tried to give me a few skills, but a dearth of resources worked against them, as there wasn't a large scope of information to be had in our village library. (Yes, we were small enough that we didn't qualify as a town and this was the dark days before the internet.) I never really pictured research as anything more than reading an encyclopedia article and the one book that touched on the subject. Two books on your chosen subject was a dream come true. In university, I took the meager card catelog skills I'd been given and, by stumbling through the stacks, managed to get by despite the confusion caused by being dumped into an LC library after growing up with DDC libraries*. If you threw the terms "OPAC" or "fonds" at me, all you would have recieved was a blank stare. I'm still not sure I know how to research, but with The Research Virtuoso in hand, I feel a lot more ready for the task. Geared toward the researcher looking for information for an assignment, such a high school or undergraduate student, this book is still very useful for writers and other insatiably curious types. It's common to hear that physical libraries are defunct because "everthing's on the internet". The trouble is that anyone with an internet connection and thirty seconds to spare can put up a website -- or if they're too lazy for that, they can create a little havoc on Wikipedia. It's getting to the information that's correct and useful that's the difficult part. "Think Insight, Not Access" as the authors put it. The Reasearch Virtuoso begins at the beginning, which is figuring out what it is you want to know. The authors provide many resources for brainstorming ideas. From there it covers the various types information sources, primary, secondary and tertiary, both in print and online. It gives the basics of setting up and getting interviews. Most importantly, it teaches skills in evaluating sources, in organizing information, and in avoiding accidental plariarism. Thanks to the authors of The Research Virtuoso, I'll certainly feel much more comfortable about my skill in finding the right facts for my various projects and in being able to back up those facts with proper citations and bibliography. Though I'm pleased to report that my wandering of the stacks was not as fruitless as it might have at first seemed. The authors recommend purposeful wandering right there on page 47. *Library of Congress & Dewey Decimal Call Number systems. N.B.: Review copy provided via NetGalley