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MHS Library | Plant Project Year 9

Research Process

  1. Plan how you will tackle the research.
  2. Identify possible resources to use such as: journal articles, books, newspaper articles, or websites.
  3. Locate resources in the library and online.
  4. Evaluate the resources you have found critically.
  5. Document the details of the resources you use.

Can l use Wikipedia?

You need to think about how to use Wikipedia. It's okay to use it as a starting point to get your bearings, browse different sections to get an overview of the general content, then look at the sources used. 

See the guide for using Wikipedia in your research.

Quick tips

​Quick tips for searching

  • Refine your searches to get the best possible results
  • Always think about the evaluation criteria - is the information you are using relevant, current, authoritative and reliable?
  • Consider how authoritative your sources are
  • Think about the credibility of the web pages; are they suitable for scholarly purposes?
  • Be critical in your use of websites, and if you use Wikipedia, use it as a starting point only. Check out Wikipedia's reference list for sources.

Search eResources

Search databases, articles, newspapers, journals, and online magazines that MHS have subscribed to.

  • Select Science Reference Centre
  • Select Advanced Search
  • Refine your search using some of the following options: date of publication, publication type, document type and lexile reading level 
  • Enter keyword/s eg plant growth 
  • Search

In Ebsco:

  • Select Explorer Secondary Schools
  • Select Science and Math
  • Select a category eg. Photosynthesis
  • Refine your results


Evaluating resources

Evaluating resources:

A number of factors must be considered when analysing the resources that you have used, such as:

  • The scientific content - is it accurate or not?
  • The detail provided - is the information discussed in depth or only superficially?
  • The accessibility of the language - is it easy to read and understand?
  • The credibility of the source - can you trust the information given by the source?
  • The bias or impartiality of the source - are both sides of the argument covered equally?

All things Google

Here are some general Google search tips.

Google Image search

Try using the tools in the Google Image Search and see how they filter results.

Google Books

Use Google Books Advanced Book Search to use specific keywords/phrases and set to "full view only" to get the whole book.


Google Scholar


Why can't l just Google?

This video has been created by LaTrobe University Library. Although it addresses university students, it is just as relevant to us (although we are not always looking for peer-reviewed articles, but we are always looking for authoritative information.)

Duck Duck Go is the best search engine for privacy