Research and Citation for the Extended Essay

A.  Define your information need.   What do you need to know?

     If you do not have specific question, start with some general reading.

     Do not expect to find a single paper that answers your question specifically.

     Be prepared to read multiple papers.

B.  Decide where to search for the information?   Be aware of the news / information cycle.


     Visual search through Power Search


     The web.

  1.  Google Scholar.
  2.  Specific site or domain on the web.

     Scholarly database.


     Magazine/journal or print resource.

C.  Locate the appropriate source

      Know how to use a database/library catalog

      Just getting started?  - Try a visual search in the database.

D.  In any database OR google search, use an advanced search to reduce the number of irrelevant items.

  1.  Use Boolean Operators to narrow your search
  2. AND, OR, NOT   (always capitalize boolean operators)

Example:   Search for :  “Harry Potter” - use quotation marks for a phrase

                                        “Harry Potter’ AND Rowling AND symbolism

Search Tip : Combine Keyword and Subject Searching to be most effective

Keyword - this will scan document for words that are used frequently.

Subject  -  Search only documents that have been listed as this topic

Entire Document:   will search document for any instance of the word or phrase

One word or term - will bring back many results

Two words combined - will most likely bring back fewer, more relevant results

Wild card searching.     Use the stem of a common word and *

                                    criminal    - will locate only this word

 crimin* - will locate all documents containing criminal or criminology

Search Tip:   Use  wild card search for plurals.  

As you find keywords that are successful - keep a notebook or a google doc with a list of keywords.    This will be helpful if you have to come back and find additional info at a later date.

Select your initial database and complete one initial search using just one word or phrase.

   What results did you get?   (how many and how relevant?)  

Next - search using two words connected by a boolean operator (or in advanced search).

How did this affect your results?  Fewer?  More?   More relevant?  

Next:  Try using 3 search terms

E.    Take good notes.   Use Mrs. MacFarland’s source sheet, or create your own google document. As you read an article, write down relevant information including everything you need for the citation.  Rely on paraphrasing the article or text into your own words. Avoid overusing quotations. Use a quotation when you feel like it is very insightful and poignant and would be hard to reword. Avoid long quotations over three lines.

Cut and paste quotes into the document. Be sure to include quotation marks around each quote.   Be sure to distinguish between quoted material and your own paraphrasing and summarizing.  Use a separate page for each source.  

MLA CITATION INFORMATION: Be sure to get all the information you need for a citation.

Author Name, Title of Source, Title of Container, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication Date, Location

(use automatic citation creation if available. But verify that the citation is correct.)



Copeland, Edward. “Money.” The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen. Edited by Copeland and Juliet McMaster, Cambridge UP, 1997, pp. 131-48.


Friedman, Uri. “Is Terrorism Getting Worse?” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 14 July 2015,


Leclerc, Eric. "A brief history of terrorism." Women's Forum, June 2012, p. 30+. General OneFile, Accessed 5 Jan. 2017.

Go to or, and copy and paste your citation here. It is helpful to start a Works Cited page early.  Please note that many online databases provide you with the proper citation for your Bibliography or Works Cited page at the bottom of the article. Also, please note that the majority of the time, you will need to do a manual entry for easybib for websites since not all of the information is collected.  

F.  Read your paper/ Reflection.   Did you answer the original question?  If not, is the change reflected in your thesis statement?