Research Guides

High School Research Guide


Welcome to the Richter Library's Research Guide for High School Students!


Hello all, and welcome to the Richter Library's Research Guide for High School Students! Feel free to use this guide and all its resources during your visit to the University of Miami - most of the resources included are also available to you after you leave!

Subject Specialist

Lauren Fralinger

Ava Brillat

  • Program Lead for Information Literacy and Instructional Design
  • (305) 284-4058
Class Pages

Welcome to the Class Guides page of the High School Libguide! Hover your mouse over the "Class Guides" tab to get to the drop menu. Use the drop menu to find your class.

Every Class Guide is specially tailored to the needs of your research assignment. Think of it as a 'one stop shop' for your research needs, but be sure to look through all of the Richter Library's resources to complete your assignment.


More Options

Getting Books and Articles

There's good news and bad news:

The Bad News: You can't check out books from UM, and you won't be able to use our databases after you leave today.

The Good News: You have other places you CAN check out books and find articles! Your high school library has links to a variety of databases and online encyclopedias, as well as books. The Miami-Dade Public Library System also can provide you with books, databases, and other materials. If you can't find a book or article you need - order it through your school or public library's Interlibrary Loan system. It's free, it's easy, and it's fast. Make use of all your resources - look at your local libraries!

Google Scholar Search
Government Websites
Health Information
Statistical Information
Understanding (dot) Endings

What do those endings mean?

.gov : If you find a .gov website online, chances are, this is a good resource with legitimate information. .gov means that's a government website, operated by the government. Some examples are:,, or

.edu : If you find a .edu website online, chances are, this is a good resource with legitimate information. .edu means it's the website of a university or college. Take a look at pages owned by the University of Miami! See the .edu ending? It means we're legit. Some examples are:,, or

.org : If you find an .org website online - proceed with caution. There are some great .org's out there, but some shady ones too. ".org" means the owner of the website is usually an organization of some kind. Some organizations are legitimate, others not so much. Here are some real .org's to serve as an example:,, and

.com : If you find a .com website online - proceed with high caution. There are some great .com's out there, but a lot of shady ones too, and many .com's are NOT professional or scholarly in origin. Some .com's might be run by people, groups, businesses or organizations that are legitimate. Others are just run by people who have their own agenda or may just be trying to sell you something. Always think twice before using a .com for research.

Text written by Lauren Fralinger; adapted from the Evaluating Resources Guide at Valparaiso University

Evaluating Articles

The CABLE Method

Currency (When?)
When was the article published? If the article is on a website, when was the page last updated? Are links to other sites still active?

Authority (Who?)
Who wrote the article? What are the credentials of the author? How can I find out more about the author?

Bias (Why?)
What is the purpose of the periodical? What does the author say is the purpose of the article? Is the article objective or is only one point of view presented?

Level (What?)
How useful is this information for your purpose? Does it cover your subject in enough depth? Do you feel comfortable citing this article in a college-level assignment?

Explore (Where?)
Where does the article's information come from? Is it scholarly or popular? Can you verify the information in the article? Are there references or links to other sites?

Adapted from: The Library Instruction Cookbook "CABLE Cook-off: Learning to Evaluate Web Sites" (90-91)

On Using Wikipedia

I'm sure you've heard it from your professors by now: NO USING WIKIPEDIA!

Really? But it's always the first result in Google! Here's a secret - you can use Wikipedia. But only if you use it wisely. Here are some tips:

1. Use Wikipedia to point yourself in the right direction - but don't make it your final destination (do not cite it in your paper!).

Learn to use Wikipedia as a starting point. What's your topic? What's some basic information about it? If you're learning about the American Civil War, Wikipedia can tell you who the major Generals were, what some of the main battles were, and some of the important people involved.

2. Use other resources, especially ones at the library!

If you find out from Wikipedia that one of the major battles of the Civil War was at a place called "Gettysburg", use some of the library's resources to learn more about the battle of Gettysburg. Try using the Encyclopedia Britannica, one of the library's many Civil War books, or a database to get more authoratitive information on Gettysburg - or any subject you're studying.

3. Use Wikipedia to get a "quick basic overview" - Wikipedia's founder says so!

Wikipedia's founder, Jimmy Wales, wants you to use his creation as a starting point for learning - not an all encompassing resource. Here's a short, but great interview with Mr. Wales, on the topic of college students using Wikipedia: Wikipedia Founder Discourages Academic Use of His Creation.

Text written by Lauren Fralinger; adapted from the Evaluating Resources Guide at Valparaiso University.

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