It happens almost to everyone: you weren’t paying attention when the teacher explained mitosis, you forgot to take notes that day, or you were out sick—sometimes students simply do not have enough information to complete their homework. Luckily, when you don’t have all the information necessary to complete school work in the classroom, it can often be found elsewhere. Below are some sources which students might use to help them find information or tips for completing their homework assignments.
For general information about most topics, Wikipedia is not a bad starting point. Though it should most certainly not be used as your only source of information, it does often give a good overview of subjects and allows you to more accurately direct further research.
The Internet does have problems as an educational resource. There is a lot of incorrect information on the Web that can be difficult to separate out from actual facts; however, here are some tools to help you find accurate information:
- Google Scholar is a good tool for finding reliable sources on the Internet. Google Scholar lets people search across many different subjects for reliable literature. It locates articles, books, abstracts, and court opinions from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar even ranks documents for searchers, by the completeness of the document, where and when it was published, who wrote it, and how often or recently it has been cited as a source in other scholarly literature.
- Google News is another good way to find reliable information. Google News collects news stories and headlines from different sources all around the world and will even groups news stories by topic.
Though it may not be the most modern of information repositories, the library is still a great place to find answers. Most libraries have online databases to help you find the answers you are looking for, though if that fails you can always ask a librarian for assistance.
Ask Your Teacher
Teachers love questions. If you are having trouble understanding a concept or writing an essay, your teacher is likely more than happy to help by answering questions or simply having a discussion about the topic. Exploring the subject more thoroughly with your teacher might give you a better insight to your assignment. You can ask your questions before or after class, or often by email.
Your school might have writing workshops or assistance available. These can often be found through your department’s website or your school’s library. Ask your teacher to find out if one of these might be available for you.