This page is designed as a place to learn how to do the most effective and time-friendly research for debate. The most common research done by debaters is for arguments and evidence. Much of this page is dedicated to this.
Reasons to research online
- You can use powerful search tools to find and browse what you are looking for.
- Online, you can cut-and-paste information and supporting evidence into Debatepedia, assuming you provide a reference and avoid plagiarism.
- Referencing: If you find sources online, you can more easily reference them with the URL (address), than if they weren't online. It is important that other viewers be able to see you sources, and this allows for that.
Skimming for arguments and supporting evidence
In order to research effectively, you need to know what you are looking for, and seek it voraciously, paying less attention and skimming over the things that you are not looking for. So, what are you looking for in your debate researching. It's obvious:
- Arguments: An argument is a specific line of reasoning that leads to a specific conclusion. It has a point, or what is also frequently called a claim or conclusion. Seek these out, and you usually will know when you found them.
- Supporting evidence for arguments: Supporting evidence goes toward validating or strengthening a specific argument (claim/conclusion/point). If you are seeking supporting evidence for a specific argument, make sure you don't get distracted by tangential supporting evidence or information.
Online researching and tools
There are many tools online for researching. Make sure to use them, and effectively.
- Google: See Building Research Tools with Google For Dummies
- Lexis Nexis: See Lexis Nexis Researching Tips
Utilizing the tools available on Firefox or Internet Explorer browsers is important. The most important tools for researching are:
- Tab-browsing: Tab-browsing is one of the most powerful ways to browse the Internet, and do research (especially). It allows you to open up a new window in a tab that appears at the top of the screen, and to open up, up to about 10 (within reason). This allows you to constantly pursue inquiries and lines of research. Open a tab by clicking "ctrl + T" when in Firefox or explorer.
- Google box: Using the Google box in the upper right hand screen is also a very powerful researching tool. If you are reading something and you suddenly gain inspiration to open a line of inquiry, quickly press "ctrl + T", and then go to the Google search box and type in key words specific to that inquiry, press enter, find the results you're looking for, and then return to the other tab/window you were on before on your browser.