The Research Process
1. Understand Your Research Assignment
Take a deep breath, we'll take it one step at a time....
HOW WE WILL DO THATI'll read the assignment. As I read, you will make note of (highlight, underline) those key ideas that identify your teacher's expectations.
- Annotate key ideas that identify your teacher's expectations
- Organize teacher expectations on the "Understanding the Research Assignment" assessment sheet.
- Complete "What am I being asked to do?" writing down three annotations
- Complete "What do I need to know how to do?" writing down at least three ideas you may have, in no particular order
- Brainstorm with your group. Share what you know with your group, and add information that others share. So you will start with what you know and add what you learned from speaking with others.
Now let's be honest...research makes many of us uncomfortable. I say "us" because I am a student as well, I can never give up building my knowledge base and this requires me to conduct research. Sometimes short term projects like "What new car will suit my needs and provide the value I am looking for?" or longer term projects such as "I have been told my child is not learning to his/her potential. What do I do next? How does a parent navigate a system that is fixed when a child's needs may not fit?" or " Our aquifer needs protecting and I want to convince our local government to limit the amount of pesticides that flow from our properties into our waterways". How do we speak or act intelligently, once we are out of school and do not have librarians and teachers to lead our way through inquiry? We learn to become comfortable asking questions, locating resources that provide us answers, collecting information that informs us and drawing conclusions from the information we have found. This is an imperfect process, because there is always more information to be found, BUT IT IS THE BEST WAY TO BEGIN!
IF YOU OWN THE PROCESS YOU CAN OWN YOUR RESEARCH! Connect - Wonder - Investigate - Construct - Express - Reflect
2. Debunking Databases
The Virtual Reference Collection (VRC)
Here's the Scoop:
Think of the Virtual Reference Collection, aka VRC, as a huge digital file cabinet in the cloud. It organizes our databases. Our subscription collection of digital reference resources include but are not limited to newspaper and magazine articles, scholarly journal articles, multimedia resources like video clips, audio books,podcasts and news feeds. You will find an abundance of reference basics such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri, almanacs and quick link fact finding resources. In addition, there are also eBooks to assist with research.