February 18, 2007

Research Lesson Plan - Week Two

I. Research at the Library

Book Catalog Search
Start General with subject
May need to use Keyword Search
Browsing Through the Nearby Books - sometimes find your best books this way
Encyclopedias or World Book in Juvenile section
-should be used a a starting off point if you need names or ideas for your topic
-often dated and limited information - can offer only a general summary

Online Databases
-limit to full text documents for full article results
-Best one to use (in recommended order)

InfoTrac Student Edition: Designed for high school students, InfoTrac® Student Edition provides indexed and full-text magazines, newspapers, and reference books about current events, the arts, science, popular culture, health, people, government, history, sports and more.

Proquest Newstand Complete: Read the full-text articles of over 350 newspapers. Search the latest news from around the world. Access a wide range of articles – news, arts, sports, and entertainment.

MasterFILE Premier: Read full text articles from more than 1,900 popular and general reference, business, consumer health, general science, and multi-cultural periodicals. It offers indexing and abstracts for an additional 2,510 periodicals. The database also contains full-text articles from book reviews, reference works, travel books, biographies, primary source documents, and an image collection of photos, maps, and flags.

Junior Reference Collection: Nearly 12,000 documents, 8,500 photographs and illustrations, 50 video and audio clips, and significant reference book content are included. Search by subject area–People, Places, Subjects, Authors, Books, and Timeline.

II. Online Research
This should ALWAYS be your first place to look
Try to be narrow in your search terms
-use quotes
-use keywords from useful links
-re-search and get narrower each time

In general stick to first two pages of results and re-search with new terms
Pay attention to URL's - tell you about credibility and usefulness
Skim about 5 entries at a time BEFORE choosing one to click on
Skim the first few paragraphs to determine if useful
Notice any keywords or useful phrases and re-search those terms in google to pull up similar items
REMEMBER: There is safety in numbers if most of the research is pointing one way it is probably the truth and best way.

URL endings
A commercial web site. Companies or profitable organizations have this type of URL.

Internet Service Providers have this ending to their URL.

Educational Organizations such as schools or colleges have this ending to their URL.

Nonprofit organizations have this ending to their URL.

Government organizations have this ending.

Blog written by individuals can have wide variety of credentials, legitimacy and purpose.

Exploratory versus Focused Research
-what are the differences
-advatages and disadvantages to both

Discussion of Research Paper versus a Report

What are warning signs to indicate a resource is not likely reliable?
-poor spelling, grammar and writing style
-blog or individually published website
-no link or qualifications of person to topic
-conclusions are completely off from the rest of the topics research

What are indicators that it is reliable?
-more research backing it up
-published in a peer reviewed journal
-qualifications of writer
-quality of writing - language conclusions etc

What are some signs of bias?
-language choice
-hostile or loaded conclusions and word choices
-no counter opinions shown
-research only comes from those with a vested interest
-straw man arguments and misrepresentation of the opposition used as main strategies.

Discussion of next assignment

Next Assignment:
Part 1: Continued Research on Your Topic
Find 5 more resources for your topic. Add them to your MLA citation sheet. Your 10 references total (last weeks and this weeks) need to include the following:
-1 book (more is always good but sometimes hard to find)
-3 magazine/journal/or newspaper references
-2 online references
-The remaining 4 resources can be any of the other or various other resources.

Part 2: Pulling Research from Articles
Read articles on Digital Rights Management through once completely. Go back through the articles and highlight/underline or write out quotes from the articles to support a thesis statement for a potential paper. You are NOT writing the paper - just a thesis statement for your position. You will hand back in your written out thesis statement (the point you would prove or demonstrate in your potential paper) and all 7 pages with your notes and highlighting on them.

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