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The Research Journey
Transcript of The Research Journey
Broad Topic: The Environment (too broad)
How Do I Choose A Topic?
Makes the case for your position. Backed up by research
Usually assigned in college
Keywords: persuade, argue, evaluate, convince
Example: "This paper will argue that the rise of women in 20th century, U.S politics would not have been possible without the elimination of laws that prevented married women from maintaining control of property they owned prior to marriage. "
What Type of Research Project Is It?
Straightforward account of info and facts about topic
Assigned most often in high school
Keywords: describe, summarize, survey
Example: "This research paper will describe the laws regarding women and property rights in the U.S. prior to the 19th amendment.
Exploration of various aspects of your topic, and your conclusions
Often assigned in high school
Keywords: explain, compare & contrast
Example: "This paper will examine the role of property rights in America, and their effect on womens' participation in politics before and after the adoption of the 19th amendment. "
Always keep your original research question in mind. It will help you focus your research on those resources that provide you with evidence to back up your claim. E.g.- "Would charging people for plastic shopping bags substantially reduce the amount of non-biodegradable waste in our landfills ?"
If information and research prove too difficult to find, ADJUST COURSE- the earlier, the better.
Remember: You can always revise your thesis.
Finally, you may find evidence that disproves your thesis. THAT'S OK. If you had all the answers, there wouldn't be a need for research. Don't cherry-pick the evidence that supports your thesis. Always make a good faith effort to present other points of view (POV) that challenge your assumptions/thesis. Let the weight of the facts inform your conclusion, even if they run counter to your original claim.
It's the integrity of your process that counts.
The NY Public Library has many more resources than the LRC. You can search their print collection using their online catalog. You can request that any resource not at your local branch be sent there for you to pick-up. Here are two books that came up when I plugged in the keyword "recycling." Applications for getting your library card are in the LRC and on the LRC's website (sidebar link). You'll need a library card to access the NYPL's incredible collection of articles and databases, which you will be required to use for research projects.
The concept of recycling has been well-documented in the press. The Periodical Index from NYPL's "Articles & Databases" would help you locate magazine and journal articles. You would be able to narrow your search to those articles that speak directly to the use of plastic bags.
Classnotes & Textbooks
Your choice of appropriate resources depends on your understanding of the "information cycle," which illustrates the changing nature of media coverage after an event has transpired, and as time passes.
From "The Information Cycle," University of IL at Urbana-Champaign. Go to the website for more in-depth info: http://www.library.illinois.edu/ugl/howdoi/informationcycle.html
The LRC catalog of print and e-resources should be your first stop for locating resources. The link is on LRC homepage (sidebar), under "Academics," on ElRo's website. If you plug "environment" into the Catalog's search bar, you'll get 55 results:
Scouting For A Topic?
Pick A Topic
That Floats Your
Online directories are searchable collections of online resource links, usually organized alphabetically by subject or topic. They are great places to both narrow down a topic, and to locate resources once you have a topic. Examples include:
Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)- great resource for finding OA journals that provide free access to their scholarly articles.
ElRoBookmarks collection in Diigo- a directory Ms. M has created for our students and faculty. It is NOT organized alphabetically, but can be searched by keyword/phrase. It is also organized by topic/subject-specific lists for your convenience. It contains over 2000 vetted resources. You will find some examples of content from this ever-growing collection below. Your teachers will be pointing you to some of these lists when you're covering various units of study.
Online Portals usually provide a gateway to both information and resources that speak to a single purpose, theme, or subject area.
Book Index or Table of Contents
Philosophy & Religion
English & The Arts
Here Are Some Good Ways To Turn On Your
SO, WHAT'S A THESIS, AND WHY DO I NEED ONE?
Online databases are web-based storage-houses of searchable content provided by publishers, academic institutions and others. This is where you can find scholarly articles, newspapers, conference proceedings, reports, etc. that have been vetted by experts for authority. The video below provides a very good explanation. Unfortunately, access to most of the better ones require a paid subscription. But, NYS residents are lucky enough to have free access to the NOVELNY collection (see below).
All NYS residents have free access through their NY Public Library card account and/or through their school to the
NOVEL (NY Online Virtual Electronic Library)
collection of databases. Links to all three content providers (
Gale, Proquest and Grolier Online
) are on the LRC website (under "Academics" on ElRo's website). You may login at school or home without a username or password. NOVEL's collection contains a wide range of academic article databases; newspaper and periodical databases; and reference resources. These databases will provide you with the kind of evidence you need to back up your research.
NYPL Articles & Databases-
You need your library card barcode to access these databases. ElRo participates in the MyLibraryNYC (MLNYC) program, a partnership between the NYCDOE and the NY Public Library (NYPL). There are applications for the MLNYC card in the LRC. There is also a link to the application on the LRC homepage. If you already have a NYPL card, this will replace it. Any fines you have or books you've lost will be cleared from your record. You won't ever have to worry about late fees again (within reason). NYPL's wonderful collection provides an enormous amount of content beyond the NOVEL databases. It includes full-text, scholarly articles, many of which you can access from home (house icon), as well as authoritative websites. Its periodical & newspaper indexes are useful for researching more recent events like the Iraq War. Many of the better databases can only be accessed at the library (we have three branches within walking distance of school). JStor is one of the best of these.
The Internet History Sourcebook Project"- provides links to a wide array
of historical texts from all over the world. This is the "Crusades" page:
Online Portals, Directories & Archives
And, how do you know which resources are appropriate?
In fact, some information is just plain
Watch this video for more CRAAP
Here's a video that will help you understand how to scan scholarly journal articles for relevance:
You need a method to organize your research information. This will not only help you stay sane; it will provide the basic resource info you need to create in-text citations and your Works Cited/References page (see Perdue's OWL resources for citation explanations and formatting guidelines). There are many tools for keeping it together. It's not about which one you choose, but how you use it. One of the best, tried and true techniques is using index cards., which you will use in two different ways:
Source cards (one per source)- these cards will contain all the information you'll need for your Works Cited/References page. If you take any idea from a source, the first thing you must do is create a source card. You may not end up using that particular resource for your final product, but you never know. You may also create a master list of all your resources. Just
make sure you assign a number or letter to each individual source.
Source note cards (as many as you need)- Must be identified with source code (# or letter). It contains just
This can be a direct quote (indicated by quotation marks), a paraphrase, or summary (indicate which, e.g.- "P" or "S"). Later on, you may want to color-code these by subject/subtopic. This process will help you make connections, which will help you organize your first draft.
Being able to associate your individual notes with their corresponding resource is the most important takeaway, whether you choose to use index cards or an app like Evernote.
See the "Helpful Graphics" section
for examples of properly formatted source and source note cards.
Online General Directories
LOC's Country Studies
Attend A Free Lecture or Other Event That Peaks Your Interest
What Are Primary & Secondary Resources?
Keep Your Research Notes Organized
Open your own account in the social-bookmarking tool Diigo (https://www.diigo.com/sign-up), so you can keep track of all your online resources. You can organize (create lists and groups), highlight (four different colors), annotate (comment on), and share with your research collaborators.
To Collect, Organize, Highlight & Annotate Online Resources
Give all that new information a chance to percolate. Take a walk, jog, or swim. Go out to dinner and a movie with a friend. Visit a museum. Go to a poetry reading, or concert. Throw your senses a party.
You'll be surprised at the connections your mind will make when you give the outside a chance to come in.
But, before you do,
WALK AWAY FROM YOUR COMPUTER
There are many great citation management tools online. One of the best free ones is EasyBib. Once you register, you'll be able to format your citations (MLA) for all types of resources, whether they're online or print. You should add every resource you're considering to EasyBib. You may not end up using the resource later, but why take the chance? When you are logged in to your ElRo Google Apps account, you are automatically logged on to your own EasyBib account- a good reason to write up your project using GoogleDocs.
You MUST cite your sources
Plagiarism is Stealing
You must recognize the work of others when you produce research products for public consumption, whether they be for academic, professional or personal purposes.
Copyright law ensures that intellectual creations such as books; movies or videos; paintings or photographs; and music are not reproduced without their creator's permission and/or compensation.
You are ethically bound to honor other people's work- from your fellow student to Drake.
"Studentswho submit academically dishonest work will receive no credit and will be
additionally penalized as deemed appropriate by the administration."
(ElRo Family Handbook)
We recognize and honor the work of others
by not plagiarizing, and by citing our sources.
See "Resources" for more information on Academic Integrity:
A Quick Guide To Plagiarism
"What Is Copyright?"
"Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States"
"The Copyright Website"
"Plagiarism Prevention Zone"
There's A Method To The Madness
The Internet Archive
The Internet Public Library
Click on below link, and watch the video introduction
This is one of the Gale Databases
The Library of Congress (LOC) Digital Collection contains countless primary historical resources, including photographs, audio files, and documents.
But, where do you go?
GET AN OVERVIEW OF YOUR TOPIC
This will help you narrow down your subtopic (still too broad) to a more refined topic
you will be able to effectively research in the limited amount of time you have.
Directories are categorized by subject. Researchers use other researchers' bibliographies to find worthy resources for their own research. The authority or trustworthiness of research is best judged by where the research is published (peer-reviewed academic journal, or magazine?), and how many times others cite an author's work in their own research, Google Scholar actually provides these statistics.
They are searchable by keyword, and often browseable by subject/topic
Other Questions That May Help Point You Refine
Do you have strong opinions on this topic? What are they?
Have you heard people (friends, family, talking heads) expressing strong opinions about the topic? What are they?
Have you read any newspaper or magazine articles; seen any TV programs or YouTube videos; or listened to any podcasts about the topic? Did they address a specific issue or concern?
My Pet Peeve
Focused topic generates your Research Question (RQ)
How can we substantially reduce
the use of
plastic shopping bags?
"Types of Information Sources"
A thesis is a claim about your topic. It must be debatable (include counter-claim, e.g- "while some may object . . ."), not settled fact.
It should answer one of your research questions.
It must be plausible, or able to be backed up with evidence.
It must be consequential, i.e.- it should address issues/concepts that have and/or do matter to others.
It should be clearly stated in 1 or 2 sentences at the end of your introduction.
It should be supported by at least three pieces of evidence.
It helps you focus on the topic, and your audience follow your train of thought.
You will probably revise your thesis as you proceed with your research.
While some may object to the cost and inconvenience of having to carry around reusable bags
, their use must be promoted and encouraged in order to reduce the amount of non-biodegradable waste in our landfills.
Charging people for plastic shopping bags would be an effective way to discourage their use.
Check for more help on creating thesis statements, and other aspects of the research process in the "Resources" section
If you haven't
ANALYZED & SORTED
your notes yet; now's the time
Create An Outline or Mindmap
It really bugs me that we still use so many
when we shop?
This will test your knowledge of primary & secondary sources
WILL BE ASSIGNED; OTHER TIMES YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO SELECT YOUR OWN
Keep a writing log as you examine resources. Jot down your ideas, and the resources that inspired them (make sure you include enough info to locate them again, if necessary).
The "Wonder" section has more detailed info on how to keep your resources organized.
Some of these ideas come from "The Craft of Research," by Wayne C. Booth
A bibliography is an alphabetized list of the resources researchers used to find evidence for their claim (thesis). It contains not just the works cited in an article, or research paper, but any works consulted that informed the research process indirectly. Researchers use other researchers' bibliographies to find worthy resources for their own research. The authority/trustworthiness of research is best judged by where the research is published (peer-reviewed academic journal, or magazine?), and how many times others cite an author's work in their own research, Google Scholar actually provides these statistics.
The NYPL collection of databases contains many specialized bibliographies, a few of which can be accessed from home (house icon) or on the web (globe icon). These are not associated with a particular article or piece of research. They are topic or subject-specific lists created by experts in their field for other researchers. Most must be accessed at the library (lion icon). Academics often post specialized bibliographies online (don't use them if you can't verify the creator's credentials).
The Goldilocks Topic.
If it's too broad there will be too much info,
and you won't be able to focus.
If it's too narrow, you won't be able to find enough info.
Whether it's on your computer/tablet/device
The old-fashioned way
RESEARCH PROCESS RESOURCES
Entire Research and/or Writing Process
Using Resources: A Guide for Students: Find It - Check It - Credit It
Created by a British, educational regulatory organization, but universally valid.
"Checklist for Writing Assignment"
Easybib is a citation generation tool that allows you to save and create bibliographic information using MLA format (required at ElRo). Registration is free. They also have have very good citation guides.
Any one of these offers great guidance. The go-to here at ElRo is "Perdue's Online Writing Lab" (OWL)
Apply the "W" and "H" questions as you start investigating your subtopic:
Who? E.g.- Who gains and who loses if we start living sustainably?
What? E.g.- What can we do we do to promote sustainable behavior?
Where? E.g.- Where are sustainable behaviors a normal part of daily life?
When? E.g.- When are people/cultures more likely to adopt sustainable behaviors?
Why? E.g.- Why are some cultures more successful at living sustainably?
How? E.g.- How do we promote sustainable behavior in a consumer-driven culture?
Your RQ will help you focus on those resources that suit your needs.
your thesis, but will be the basis for it.
(i.e.- what do I want to find out about this topic)
TIP: Group your source-notes by topic/subject.
Look for common themes & relationships across topics.
connections and coincidences
Researchers live for these lightbulb moments. They usually provide
some of the strongest pieces of evidence in support of your thesis.
However, they may also force you to revise your thesis
in light of new information you've uncovered.
This generally means that their research is respected, and therefore considered to be authoritative. Remember though, older research may be cited more often simply by virtue of its age. Newer research hasn't always had enough time to circulate among peers, and be evaluated. If you find articles with a compelling POV or argument that either supports or disputes your thesis, don't be afraid to cite it,
but be prepared to defend your use of it.
Hooks, Intros and Theses
After some reading, writing and organizing,
you should have an answer to one of your research questions. So . . .
Weed out any content
relevent to your thesis,
and include more evidence where needed.
Yeah, I know- they're so pretty.
But, they're weeds. Be ruthless.
Plug the holes in your boat,
if you want to stay afloat
(Do you need more to support your thesis?).
Whether you're presenting a traditional paper, or a multimedia product,
you need to
convey your ideas clearly.
Before you begin your
The nature of your assignment
Your audience (teacher, students, both)
Does your thesis need to be revised or reconsidered in light of new information?
If so, now's the time for a final course adjustment.
These guideposts will
clarify your thought process,
and allow you to
focus on the content that speaks directly to your thesis.
The process of gathering and evaluating your resources will be far less daunting with your RQ to guide you.
How To Make A Mind Map: The Basics
This process will lay out the road before you,
and actually help you refine your thesis and your sources even more.
The Myth of Introductions
A+ Research & Writing
You don't need to write your introduction first
Most find it helpful to write their introduction first. If written well, it summarizes the purpose, expectations and context of your investigation. But, if you've created a good outline or mind map, you may choose to create your introduction at the end, when you've arrived at your destination, and can reflect upon the path you took to get there. Either way, It should include one or two research questions, and your thesis statement.
Ms. M Can Help
Some of the content for this section was found at this very useful page from the University of Southern California's (USC) great LibGuide, "Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper"- http://libguides.usc.edu/content.php?pid=83009&sid=618406
is about the BIG PICTURE:
Have you accomplished your overall goal (answered your research question/s, and supported your conclusion with enough evidence?
Would you convey your argument more clearly if you rearranged paragraphs or sections, or deleted them entirely?
is about style and coherence.
Do your sentences lead the reader along in a logical sequence?
Do you need to make them grammatically clearer?
Can you make your sentences shorter?
is checking for grammatical, punctuation and spelling errors. It's the last thing you do. Make sure to check your in-text citations (have you given proper credit when needed? Are they properly formatted?)
Click on below link, and watch the video introduction
to the social bookmarking tool Diigo
Introducción españoles a Diigo
Such questions will help you generate a list of keywords/phrases:
Online Portal , Directory & Archive Examples By Subject
The keywords/phrases you have been collecting will help you zero in on those resources that pertain to your topic.
Check the Table of Contents (TOC) and indexes of printed resources.
Use your keywords (don't forget to use synonyms) to search for online database articles.
Read the abstracts (summaries of database articles) to gauge their relevance.
is one of the most powerful of the free notetaking apps available. You can use it to keep track of both print and online resources, including the full-text articles (copy and paste ) from databases. You can save scanned content, documents, photos, and audio recordings. Their foldering system will keep you organized. It's perfect for creating source and note cards, but you won't be able to organize them by letter or number like you can with real index cards (same applies to Diigo). However, if you designate each source with a unique keyword of your choosing (e.g- author's last name), and apply it as a tag for every note associated with that source, you'll be able to search for all those notes as a group. For more in-depth info, go to the "Resources" section, where you'll find excellent tutorials.
DON'T WAIT TO WRITE.
Writing crystallizes your thoughts.
"Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for
are commonly the most valuable."
Are there authors and/or researchers who have regularly been cited by others ?
These keywords will help you search effectively for pertinent resources.
Remember, content providers may use different terminology or subject terminology,
so don't forget to think about synonyms. Make a list of your keywords/phrases.
STILL TOO BROAD THOUGH . . .
Revision, Editing & Proofreading
From "Identifying and Narrowing A Topic," Creighton University
What Are Databases?
Some of these ideas come from the
"Cambridge Rindge and Latin School's ""Research Guide."
Research & Writing Handouts,
University of TX at Austin
Some of these ideas were taken from "How To Write A Thesis Statement,"
Writing Tutorial Services, Indiana University
Handouts from "The Writing Center," University of NC-Chapel Hill
Thesis Statement Creator
University Libraries, University of WA
Penn State University Libraries
Primary, Secondary & Tertiary Resources
CRAAP Resource Evaluation Criteria
Evaluacion critica de un Sitio Web
C.A.R.S Checklist for Evaluating Internet Sources
From the NY Institute of Technology
Meriam Library, California State University, Chico
See the "Resources" page for other sites that address plagiarism.
Many of these ideas come from "√Revision, Editing and Proofreading: What’s the Difference? (Middlebury College) and "The Writing Process: Revising, Editing and Proofreading" (University of Toronto). See the bibliography.
"Plagiarism: How To Avoid It"
Perdue's Online Writing Lab (OWL)
The Writing Process: Revising, Editing and Proofreading
Revision, Editing and Proofreading: What’s the Difference?
A Baker's Dozen of Fat-Cutting Exercises
20 Great Writers On The Art of Revision
"Narrowing Research" Libguide, University of RI
A Lesson on Narrowing the Topic For Expository Writing
An Important Word About Manual Entry of Citation Information
Unless you're generating a citation directly from a database, or other content provider that offers this service, you will almost always have to manually edit your citation to include other necessary information. Here is an example of an EasyBib citation form for an online resource I used for this presentation:
The missing information is in red. You'll have to locate this information if it's available. You may leave it blank, if it's not provided.
See if you can find some of the missing information from the website:
Recommended by Ms. M. "Senior" level is for high school
how can we substantially reduce the use of plastic shopping bags?
My opinion, or initial THESIS is:
"Revision (n.)-1610s, "act of revising," from French révision, from Late Latin revisionem (nominative revisio)
"a seeing again. . . "
Online Etymology Dictionary
"Your eloquence should be the servant of the ideas in your head. Your rule might be this: If a sentence, no matter how excellent, does not illuminate your subject in some new and useful way, scratch it out"
(Kurt Vonnegut, "How to Use the Power of the Printed Word."
From "20 Great Writers on The Art of Revison." See "Resources" section).
This well-organized, concise guide from NY Military Academy illustrates general formatting for research papers, including source and note cards
Source/Bibliographic and Note Cards
"Instructions for Source Cards/Works Cited Entries" (Miami Valley Career Technology Center
"Guidelines for Notetaking" (Miami Valley Career Technology Center
Dewey Decimal System
AASL's 21st Century Learner
Create a Mindmap
NYPL Articles & Databases
The house icon indicates those databases you can access from home. The lion icon indicates those that you can only access at the main library. You can narrow search results to only those you can access from home- though you will also limit your results. You will need to login with your library card barcode and password.
There are countless other databases, archives, directories, portals and indexes available online. Here's a collection that Ms. M has vetted for you from ElRoBookmarks in Diigo:
Want to know how to get a library card and access their databases?
C.A.R.S Source Evaluation Worksheet
Research Paper Self-Evaluation
ANALYZE & SORT
"What Are Databases, And Why Do We Need Them?"
Need More Help Figuring Out How To Use Online Databases?
"Database Search Tips," MIT Libraries
If you need help understanding what a suitable thesis statement looks like, check these resources:
"Revising & Fixing Weak Thesis Statements," Adapted from, Rosenwasser, D. and Jill, S., "Writing Analytically," 2012
"Thesis Statements," Writing Center, University of NC at Chapel Hill
"Examples of Thesis Statement Revision," Hommocks Middle School
"Turn Your Topic into a Research Question," Clark College
Miller, K., & Childs, T. (2007). Concept Mapping: How to Start Your Term Paper Research. YouTube.
"20 Great Writers on the Art of Revision – Flavorwire "Web. 1/22/2014 <http://flavorwire.com/361311/20-great-writers-on-the-art-of-revision/>.
"A+ Research & Writing "Web. 1/22/2014 <http://www.ipl.org/div/aplus/>.
"Basic Steps to Creating a Research Project- CRLS Research Guide "Web. 2/3/2014 <http://www.crlsresearchguide.org/>.
"Diigo - Improving how we find, share, and save information - YouTube "Web. 1/22/2014 <
"Diigo en 10 minutos - YouTube "Web. 1/22/2014 <
"Evaluating Information using the CRAAP Test - YouTube "Web. 2/3/2014 <
"Famous Quotes at BrainyQuote "Web. 1/22/2014 <http://www.brainyquote.com/>.
"Google Images "Web. 1/22/2014 <http://www.google.com/imghp>.
"How to Make a Mind Map - The Basics - YouTube."Web. 2/3/2014 <
"How To Write A Thesis Statement."Web. 1/22/2014 <http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/pamphlets/thesis_statement.shtml>.
"Introduction to the CRLS Research Guide- CRLS Research Guide "Web. 1/22/2014 <http://www.crlsresearchguide.org/00_Introduction.asp>.
"Learn How to Use Evernote | Evernote "Web. 2/3/2014 <http://evernote.com/video/>.
Molton, R. "What Is Copyright? - YouTube "Web. 2/3/2014 <
"Plagiarism: How to avoid it - YouTube "Web. 2/3/2014 <
"Primary vs. Secondary Sources - YouTube "Web. 2/3/2014 <
"Purpose of Guide - Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper - LibGuides at University of Southern California "Web. 2/3/2014 <http://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide>.
"A Quick Guide To Plagiarism - YouTube "Web. 2/3/2014 <
"Quick Tips & Shortcuts for Database Searching - YouTube."Web. 2/3/2014 <
"Research Topic Tips - Ethics Projects - LibGuides Sandbox for Library Schools at Springshare "Web. 2/3/2014 <http://libraryschool.libguidescms.com/content.php?pid=224553&sid=1922368>.
"Revision, Editing and Proofreading: What’s the Difference? : Peer Writing Tutors & FYS Mentors at Middlebury "Web. 1/22/2014 <http://sites.middlebury.edu/peer_writing_tutors/2011/02/14/revision-editing-and-proofreading-what’s-the-difference/>.
"Search library databases like a pro! - YouTube "Web. 2/3/2014 <
"What Are Databases and Why You Need Them - YouTube "Web. 1/22/2014 <
Ms. M's Tutorials Page
OWL: Tips & Examples for Writing Thesis Statements
You can use CRAAP to evaluate any resource.
Just ignore or adapt the criteria that only apply to online resources
when using it to evaluate print resources.
These 3 tutorials cover all the important searching strategies that will allow you to efficiently locate appropriate resources for your topic.
How To Read a Scholarly Journal Article
CREATE YOUR REFERENCE LIST
We said it earlier, and we'll say it again:
We recognize and honor the work of others
by not plagiarizing, and by citing our sources.
We do this both in the paper/project itself (parenthetical or in-text citations),
and by creating a "Works Cited" list (aka "References") page once the project is complete.
A "Works Cited" page is
the same as a bibliography (see link below to understand the differences).
It is a list of
only those sources you actually cited in your paper, and must be properly formatted (MLA).
Fortunately, there are several great citation managers that will make this process a breeze. We recommend-
The EasyBib Google app is already associated with your Elro Google account,
which is why you should use it to write your paper.
Here is a short video (ignore school-specific instructions) on how the process works:
Ignore school-specific instructions.
Your teachers will tell you what they expect.
Also, you don't need to load the app;
it's already been done for you.
Not sure how to create parenthentical citations? Watch this video:
Click the below link for a good explanation of the difference between a "Works Cited" page, and a Bibliography:
The U.S. Government has many portals,
like The Department of Energy's great site:
Digital archives are collections of historical documents that have been digitized by the institution that houses them. They usually contain primary resources like photos, documents, and artifacts. They are fantastic resources for research. The Library of Congress has one of the best. There are countless others, many of which I have added to the ElRoBookmarks Diigo collection.
Focused Topic: Plastic Bags
If you need help during this stage, ask your teacher or the librarian
IF YOU NEED HELP PROPERLY FORMATTING YOUR PAPER GO TO THIS WEBSITE:
Looking For A Way To Evaluate CRAAP
Has your background reading generated any questions, ideas, connections, or relationships?
Did you notice that I acknowledged a counterargument to my thesis? You must do the same in order for your research to be taken seriously.
It doesn't matter which organization method you use;
you must be able to associate your individual notes
with their corresponding resource.
Another way to narrow things down-
REVISE, EDIT & PROOFREAD FINAL DRAFT
"Checklist for Writing Assignment"
Research Paper Self-Evaluation
Here's a great explanation on writing an effective
introduction to an essay on a literary topic. You can apply the tips to any type of essay though.
There are other good resources on writing introductions in the "Resources" section, in the "Miscellaneous" frame.
Here are some great videos on thesis creation:
How a Thesis Statement Fits With the Rest of the Essay by Shmoop
How To Write A Thesis for Beginners
Thesis Statements: Four Steps to a Great Essay
How To Write A Thesis Statement for Your Essay
He's a bit stodgy, but he lays it out very clearly and specifically
Remember, this is just a
Chances are you'll have to refine your thesis later,
when you write your first draft.
Once you have a topic, using a KWL chart may help you prepare for the journey ahead
Think about your prior knowledge in light of what you've learned thus far.
What are your conclusions about your questions and hypothesis?
Is this a group project? Then put your heads together.
If you're flying solo, run what you have by some friends, your teacher, or librarian. Now's the time to start writing your first draft.
TIME TO WRITE YOUR FINAL DRAFT
These screenshots are from "The Cambridge Rindge & Latin School Research Guide," a great resource.
Creating a Purpose Statement
Brainstorm your topic ideas. Use a mindmap, list or flowchart.