Today, we spent the day in the Library Media Center gathering our data for our first formal essay assignment. I handed out this Research Steps Help Sheetillustrating the difference in the research process for a research project/experiment (RE: Science Fair) and the type of research we’ll be doing in language arts (with one or two exceptions).
Chaffin’s First Three “Research Smarter” Tips
1. Use quotation marks in query boxes. For example, if your thesis statement is “School lunches should be more nutritious,” you might be tempted to type
SCHOOL LUNCHES in the Google query box. This search would search for “school” and “lunches” separately.
A better search would be “SCHOOL LUNCHES.” This would search for the two words anywhere they appear TOGETHER on the internet.
2. Use Google Books. Often, there is enough of a preview of a book to give you some really good information . . . all without heading to the local library.
3. Track back through Wikipedia’s references. If a source that is semi-reliable has references listed, a good strategy is to try to find the original articles. Why not get the information straight from the source?