Why first-year college students select online research resources as their favorite

James P. Purdy


This paper reports results of a preliminary study on why first-year college students select certain online research resources as their favorite. Results, based on a survey of over 500 U.S. college students in first-year writing classes, offer a more complex picture of student motivation than popular accounts of these students as disinterested, lazy, and ignorant. Students reported most frequently that they favored resources for reasons of ease, quality, and connectivity. They reported least frequently that they favored resources for reasons of relevance, variety, and speed. These results suggest that students value finding scholarly sources above relevant sources.


digital research practices; online research resources; student research practices; research motivations; student rationales; Internet research; research-writing; Google; research-writing pedagogy

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v0i0.4088

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