Week 4: Writing is Documenting

Get Started on Week 4:

  1. Make sure you check if your research question (Activity 3.5) was approved in the MY GRADES area of the classroom. I'll be posting this info by Monday at noon (earlier if you submitted your question a little early). I won't post a lot of feedback if you came up with a good question. I'll just say "approved" in the MY GRADES area--and that's a good thing! If your topic needs revision, you'll have to re-submit an idea before you submit the research plan this week.
  2. The documentation activities require you to earn 100% or redo them. If you don't get it right the first time, you'll have to redo it until you get it 100% correct. This skill is not difficult, just so essential that I won't grade any further work from you until it's perfect.

You may contact me, Martha Schwer, your instructor, with email questions and concerns at schwer@madisoncollege.edu (preferred) or phone 608-246-6172. If you have computer problems or need help with Word, phone the computer help desk at 608-243-4444 or toll-free 1-866-277-4445.

Recap of Week 3 Learning:

You should feel proud that you submitted a strong research question last week. If you've got a question you're sincerely interested in, you will love this project (and I do hope you love it). Last week, you also submitted Essay 1, which I will have graded by the end of this week. If I get bogged down, I'll email you.

Be sure you understand how to view the feedback I'll provide for Essay 1. Read my feedback to make changes before submitting Essay 2. I put Blackboard feedback in two places: 1) mark-up comments on your manuscript and 2) general grading comments on the rubric. If you haven't figured out how to see my feedback, here are tutorials:

Overview and Goals for Week 4:

Because research papers take place over several weeks, planning can be total guesswork if you're new to college. We'll begin by creating a research plan, which helps you think about all the pieces and parts you'll have to juggle to complete Essay 2. You'll also improve your information literacy skills by finding secondary sources this week using the web and library periodical databases. We'll discover more about attributive tags and in-text citation. You will then use summary, paraphrase, and quotation to work with the sources you found in the Madison College library.

Learning Objectives for Week 4:

Use the following as a checklist of skills you'll need this week. By the end of this week you will be able to:

  • Use a written plan to manage a complex writing project
  • Use purposeful strategies for searching libraries, databases, and Web sites
  • identify keywords from a topic statement and find synonyms for those keywords
  • be able to perform an effective search of a library database
  • use simple Boolean logic and database limiters to efficiently execute search queries
  • identify the best sources to select and read.
  • know how to cite, e-mail, or save full-text documents from subscription databases
  • identify citation management tools (e.g. Knightcite, Word) to help create MLA style citations
  • Identify when and how to use summary, paraphrase, and quotation in a research paper.

“If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?”
Albert Einstein