Who do you trust?

Which online resources are safe to use?

Search expert Barbara G. Friedman emphasizes the importance of knowing how to evaluate Web site reliability in her book Web Search Savvy: Strategies and Shortcuts for Online Research (Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2005, 158). In Credibility at a Glance, she notes that one “quick measure of a Web site’s credibility is to look at the domain.”

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Red Letter Days

“Handwritten letters are becoming a thing of the past,”

says Wendy Lustbader, adding, “We have e-mail now…” In her Aging Today essay The Demise of Letter-writing, she acknowledges, “It is true that e-mail from dear friends can be printed out and given the heft of paper. I have done this, placing each email in a file folder labeled with the friend’s name. But I prefer my shabby boxes filled with 30 years’ worth of letters from these same friends. When I open them, envelopes of different colors and shapes, stamps of all varieties and postmarks greet me. I see my name written in familiar handwriting, addressed to past domiciles…However, when I open a file folder of accumulated e-mail, I remain unmoved by those pages of bloodless, typed uniformity.” Read more

Matters of opinion

Where to look for research perspective

When you need to examine how people are reporting or commenting on different aspects of an issue or situation, these resources – among NoodleTools.com’s valuable guidelines to help Choose the Best Search for Your Information Need – are a great place to start.

Here are NoodleTools’ suggestions for opinion and perspective resources: Read more

Get Real

“Working with primary sources is like detective work – leads must be followed, motives evaluated and stories matched for consistency,” says Leslie F. Stebbins. In the book Student Guide to Research in the Digital Age: How to Locate and Evaluate Information Sources (Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2006), 79, Stebbins offers some strategies you can use to analyze primary sources. Read more

The Art of Negotiation

Deal or No Deal

Because “Negotiations crop up on the way to decisions big and small—when to fill the gas tank, how to spend money, who picks up the kids…” notes Psychology Today, most of us can “benefit from the same (negotiating) skills world leaders use to solve problems. And best of all, getting better at reaching agreement is pretty painless.” The article “The Art of Negotiation” offers tips from University of California system negotiator Gregorio Billikopf. Read more

Active Listening

Can You Hear Me Now?

Most people consider themselves to be good listeners. But what would others – professors, bosses, friends, family – say about you? If you look like you’re paying attention but are actually focusing on what you’ll say as soon as you get the chance, you’ve got some work to do. Read more

Get Fast, Accurate Results with Exact Phrases

“Searching for phrases” notes Living Internet “is one of the fastest ways to narrow down results” Their article Search for Phrases, explains how to use this technique.

You can specify a phrase on most search engines by placing it in double quotes. Because they are a form of unique identifier, phrases are very useful at filtering search results to just pages that contain that exact, specific string of characters. Read more

Blast Through Writer’s Block

“Getting started,” say Sam Deep and Lyle Sussman, “may be the most difficult task when you sit down to write.” Luckily for us, their book Yes, You Can! 1,200 Inspiring Ideas for Work, Home, and Happiness (Reading, MA: Perseus Books, 1996), 101, includes nine ideas to kickstart the process.

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An Essential Tool for Writers

“Use definite, specific, concrete language. Omit needless words.” says William Strunk Jr.  In his extraordinary 71-page book Elements of Style (New York: Macmillan, 1959), he follows his own advice as he steers writers around potential grammatical potholes. And Strunk’s rules – simple directives with examples to illustrate what works and why – apply to research papers, essays, short stories, novels, nonfiction works, business communications, and every other kind of writing. Read more

Right on Time

Much research is geared to people and events which happened at a particular moment in time, whether five minutes or thousands of years ago. NoodleTools.com – which “provides software that teaches students and supports teachers and librarians throughout the research process”  – identifies these search tools to use when timeliness of information is important: Read more