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Research Wizards (6th Grade)

A primer on conducting research, for middle school students: research methods, search tips, internet resources.
by

Joshua Boles

on 3 April 2012

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Transcript of Research Wizards (6th Grade)

Research Wizardry Question? What's a mollusk? What's 13% of 365.25? What do they eat for dinner in Tibet? What time is the movie tonight? Where do babies come from? Will he like me if I wear this shirt? Where's the closest Taco Bell? How much will this cost if it's 25% off? Will my grade bomb if I skip this homework? Can wolves smell fear? When does that new xbox game come out? Can I still get Bieber tickets? Research is what
you use to answer
complicated questions. The good news? That's all research is: finding an answer to a question. Answer. So what's the big deal? I answer questions all the time! :) Have you ever answered a question before? Some questions are easy... What is Ghana like? What was significant about the life of Julius Caesar? What was life like in ancient Egypt? How does my body break down food? Why is there so much conflict in the Middle East? How do bees communicate? How can we use more alternative energies? What is poetry? What was the significance of the Revolutionary War? Some questions are more complicated. There are steps you can take to help you get off to a good start. Step #2:
Start with a Question If you start with a question, you can find a specific
ANSWER. ? ? This is the magic of research: BECOMES What are three scientific facts that prove the existence of sasquatch? Turn your topic ideas into a research question. Keywords to Questions Research Project Topic: Sasquatch

3 body paragraphs
1 fact per paragraph Step #3:
Gather Information Time to get the good stuff.
But there's a lot to remember when you're searching for knowledge. Starting Lineup Google is great for some things, but Google has to search the ENTIRE INTERWEBS. It might be easier to start somewhere a little smaller. Like a... Where should I search first?
GOOGLE???

Maybe not... DATABASE Super Searcher I'm ready to search. So I type in my question, right?

WRONG

When you search, search with... KEYWORDS O U . ' 0 l l l . . www.what? What is each website for?
.com
.org
.net
.edu
.k12
.gov
.mil WWW... With ANY website, you need to know:

Who wrote this?
Why did they write it?
Why can I trust it? The Nastiest
"-ism" I can just copy
and paste stuff, right? PLAGIARISM NONONO What you CAN do is... And then summarize and paraphrase
Both of which just mean... Put things in your own words. NONONO NONONO NONONO NONONO NONONO NONONO NONONO NONONO NONONO Cite your sources Where do I find databases? INFOHIO You can also find them through your public library, universities, or access them online. Databases are your most powerful tool. Investigate! Look for a link. It might say:

About
About Us
Author Info
etc. Why use keywords? Because EVERYONE ELSE DOES. No really. They do. Okay, clearly some
websites are goofy. How do I tell the good from the bad? Step #4:
Evaluate Information oo Like a superhero, you must be
CONSTANTLY VIGILANT
about the information you find. . . l But Mr. Boles,
websites don't lie! D D D D D D o o o o o o 0 l Step #1:
Topic Selection This is your chance to become an

So pick a topic that you want to be an on! BECOMES Goaltending

Ford Mustang

The Snow Leopard Just pulling a topic out of the air?
Get more specific! Pick a topic that isn't too broad, or too shallow. General vs. Focused Hockey

Cars

Animals Expert! Wizard's Review Research Wizards: #1 Choose good

#2 Start with a

#3 for info effectively

#4 their sources TOPICS QUESTION SEARCH EVALUATE I I I I I I I I The Art of being an
Internet Research Wizard Answering Questions Expert Something that interests you, intrigues you, bothers you, or confuses you. O RLY??? It's worse than botulism! a Prezi by Mr. Boles Hint Hint...you are right now... YES.
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