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Introduction to Research. Learning to become a researcher. By the time you get to college, you will be expected to advance from: Information retrieval – collecting facts about what is already known t o

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learning to become a researcher
Learning to become a researcher

By the time you get to college, you will be expected to advance from:

Information retrieval– collecting facts about what is already known


Scholarly research – adding new information and ideas to the body of information on a topic.

research leads to knowledge
Research leads to Knowledge
  • Collecting facts.
  • Asking questions about what has happened or what exists.
  • Considering different perspectives and points of view.
  • Stating your own opinion based on information you have gathered.
  • Adding new information and conclusions based on study and factual information.
1 task definition define the information problem
1. Task DefinitionDefine the information problem
  • Research begins with a question.
  • Instead of collecting facts, find out why.
  • What information do you need to answer the question?
  • What is important about this information, and how does it really help you understand the topic?
develop a question for your topic
Develop a Question for Your Topic


Topic: Film and Television of the 1960s

Question 1:

  • What were some of the most popular TV shows and films of the 1960s?

Question 2:

  • How did the TV shows and films reflect every day life and changes in society?

Question 3:

  • How do they differ from current TV and films?
2 information seeking strategies
2. Information Seeking Strategies

Determine all possible sources Select the best sources

3 or more sources

  • Print: monographs, reference books
  • Databases vs. Search Engines
  • Websites – Web Path Express
  • What about wikis?

How do you evaluate which is the BEST source?

  • May be a good place to get general information about a topic and is frequently updated.
  • Look at References and External Links
  • See “About Wikipedia” and “Disclaimer”
  • Cannot verify authors
  • Example of misinformation:

“War is over: Imaginary ‘Bicholim Conflict’ page removed from Wikipedia after five years”

3 location and access
3. Location and Access

Locate sources (intellectually and physically) Find information within sources

  • What topics are related to your question?
  • What keywords will you use when looking for information?
  • Books – Title, Table of Contents, Index
  • Online – Search Box, Strategies (+, “_”)
  • Databases – Full text, images, related sites
  • How do you select a book that will have information on your topic?
  • What if there is no book specifically about your topic?
  • Provide brief descriptions of many well-known topics.
  • If your topic is specific, you may have to look under a broader topic.
  • How are print encyclopedias organized?
  • How do you find information about a person?
  • What if the letter I am looking for is not on the book?
online resources
Online Resources
  • Databases
  • Search Engines
  • Evaluating web sites.
4 use of information
4. Use of Information

Engage (e.g., read, hear, view, touch) Extract relevant information

  • Scan to find information on your topic.
  • Read to get a general overview.
  • Look for images, videos, and links to more information.
  • If you find a good source, make a source card.
  • Start taking notes on a note card. Include source # and page numbers.
note taking
Note Taking
  • Note Cards
  • Source#
  • Topic
  • Paraphrase, summarize, use quotes
  • Citations
  • MLA format
  • Citation Machines
  • Source/Bibliography Cards – numbering
  • Works Cited Page
5 synthesis
5. Synthesis

Organize from multiple sources Present the information

  • Sort information by topic.
  • Create a thesis statement. Grab the reader with something interesting.
  • Organize supporting information.
  • Make a conclusion.
  • Include a Works Cited page.
  • How will you present the information? Paper, presentation; text, graphics & video.
6 evaluation
6. Evaluation

Judge the product (effectiveness) Judge the process (efficiency)

  • Did you answer the question?
  • Did you make your product interesting to the audience?
  • Did you give your work credence by using authoritative sources?
  • Is it technically sound? Spelling, punctuation, capitalization, format?
  • Compare to the rubric.
  • What could you do better next time?