I was wondering if I could get some tips on how to do research - both basic and in-depth research.
The reason being is that I didn't realize until I was an adult for several years that many of the things I learned in school either weren't entirely true or have a different side to the story than the one we heard. Examples are Thomas Edison's inventing of the "THE" lightbulb, or how different the story of the Civil War is here in the north vs. what is told in the south, etc.
How can we test the validity of our sources, especially as "lay" people? I can only read the book about Egyptian history, at this point in time, so I can't verify *in person* whether what I'm reading about is true or not. I see shows on the Discovery Channel or History Channel that are fascinating, and I think, "How could I have found that out for myself?"
On the flip side, there are many, many sites on-line (and perhaps books, but I'd think less with the books) where most of the information is fictional and no care was taken to verify any of the information on the site. I don't want to stumble on one of these sites and relay that information on to my kids, and believe it myself, only to find out later I was wrong. But how can I tell?
Or earlier in another discussion, I asked about studies. Sandra made the comment that studies are not how we learn, but I'm still curious how we DO learn facts, then? I have read many parenting books and sites and have seen the "studies" that support everything from crying it out to co-sleeping and I'm not sure how to trust either side as far as "facts" are concerned. (I end up doing what I feel in my heart is best, regardless of the "studies", but just for the sake of knowledge, how do I determine if there is truth at all in the words?)
One great example is pirates. I tried looking up pirates because I was interested in the *real* life of pirates and what they did and how the parrot on the shoulder, the peg leg, and the hook all got introduced into the story. There wasn't a whole lot I could find, and not even many non-fiction books. I know there must be more out there, but I'm not sure how to find it.