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Here are some helpful ideas to build your research skills.

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Presentation on theme: "Here are some helpful ideas to build your research skills."— Presentation transcript:

1 Here are some helpful ideas to build your research skills


3 * Topic * Soft Skills Product

4 * The product is a 4000 word, essay that analyzes an issue and argues a position statement, thesis or hypothesis using the highest quality of evidence in a logical manner using the language and methods of research of the field of study.

5 * The Research Question generates the thesis. * The question needs to: * Be limited in scope and sufficiently narrow to allow 4000 words to argue a position in depth * Relate two things (variables) * Be answerable (evidence can be found) * Arguable by a reasonable person * Involve investigation or analysis and be ethical * Use evidence to support claims made; Point, Proof, Explanation * Use only quality scholarly sources * Meet the requirements of the specific subject guide * Must conform to all requirements of academic honesty

6 * Develop the thesis from the RQ *

7 * Without a claim… Evidence is Not Persuasive. * E.g. A new study appears, “Teens who multi-task while doing homework perform less well on tests.” * Without evidence… A claim is NOT persuasive * E.g. Teens success in high school is linked to multi- tasking. * Without quality evidence… A claim is NOT AS persuasive as it could be. * E.g. The first study may be useful as evidence, depending on?

8 * Primary vs. Secondary Sources * Facts vs. Opinions * Scholarly vs. Popular

9 Primary SourcesSecondary Sources Created at the time of an event, or very soon after Created after an event; sometimes a long time after something happened Created by someone who saw or heard an event themselves Created by someone who did not witness or experience the events first hand. Often one-of-a-kind, or rareOften use primary sources E.g. letters, diaries, photos and newspapers (can all be primary sources) E.g. history textbooks, historical movies and biographies (can all be secondary sources) No bias; no viewpointExpress an opinion or an argument about a past event The closer in time and place a source and its creator were to an event in the past, the better the source will be Include an interpretation of primary sources, sometimes long after the actual event

10 * Why use primary sources? * Useful in history to write about the past, "as it really happened." If the sources were done by people who really lived during a period or event, they are more valuable than those written by people later. * Need to evaluate primary sources as to their legitimacy


12 What: * What is the primary source? Does the type of source match the time period? If so, is it in black and white or colour? Is it a letter? If so, is it typed, or handwritten? Who: * Who wrote the letter, took the photo or painted the painting? Can you be sure it was really that person who made it? Did they live during the time period? When: * When was the primary source created? How can you tell its age? Where: * Can you tell where the primary source was created? Why: * Why was the primary source created? Does it tell a story? Is it a love letter? Is it an order from an officer to a soldier? Is it a picture of the Rocky Mountains? Does the primary source tell you why it was created? Can you guess why it was created?

13 * Secondary sources are useful sources for expert opinion on issues and events. * Need to evaluate secondary sources as to the author and their credentials to determine whether to rely on their opinion (Use book reviews)


15 * Something that is true about a subject and can be tested or proven * It has happened, is real or exists * Beliefs held by the majority of people in a field

16 * Something that someone thinks about a subject * A thing that is believed to exist, to have happened, or is believed to be true * May not be the prevailing theory or overwhelming statistically (63% of people in a study did something)

17 * Use facts only after checking that other sources say they are true as well. * Use only opinions from experts that you have determined are the experts in the field.

18 * Scholarly: * Written by academics, professors studying/researching in the field or other experts on the topic you are studying. * Academic writing is considered to be of higher quality since they write using the language of the field. Have high reading levels and deal with specific topics. * Popular: * Written by professional writers or journalists who research the topic in order to write for a publication. Or written by the a regular citizen with no particular training. These are usually written at a lower reading level than scholarly articles.

19 * Found in Journals which are periodicals that summarize new work done in specific fields * Written at a high level * Peer-reviewed by others in the field before publication * No advertising; not for profit * Written by experts; professors * Include references * Heavy reading; very specific

20 * Intended for a general audience/population * Written by journalists, writers, or people who may or may not have special training in the field they are writing about * Few to no citations, references * Usually for profit/full of advertising * Not peer-reviewed, but edited






26 * Levels of editing * Fact checking in newspapers * Editors vs. authors * Peer review * Still no guarantee as to correctness; but better than no editing * Some sources are never edited: * E.g. Personal websites; some organizational websites; blogs; social media etc.

27 * Credentials of authors? * (degrees, publications in the field, books written, book reviews) * Google them! * In what type of source did you find it? * Peer-reviewed or personal blog? * Newspaper vs. Historical book

28 * Written by Stacy Schiff * Who is she? * What has been said about this book?

29 * schiff.html schiff.html * eview/Harrison-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 eview/Harrison-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

30 * Author: Frank Dikötter * * Book review: Robert Bickers, University of Bristol * review-%E2%80%93%C2%A0-tragedy-liberation- history-chinese-revolution-1945%E2%80%9357 review-%E2%80%93%C2%A0-tragedy-liberation- history-chinese-revolution-1945%E2%80%9357 * Take away 3


32 * BIAS IS NEITHER GOOD NOR BAD, IT JUST IS. Non-fiction is just someone’s idea of the truth * You need to delve deeper before using the information: * Who is this author? * Is there an underlying reason for this person’s opinion? * Why should I believe what they say? * What does the author want me to think? * What does the author want me to know? * What does the author want me to feel?

33 * Use biased evidence wisely by choosing only the most credible authors * Using evidence from these authors to support your points and also to present counterpoints * Counterpoints should be raised and argued against. You must address the important points someone arguing against your thesis would use.

34 * THE ABCD approach * Authorship –experts, scholarly * Bias – identify it * Content – accuracy and appropriateness; good quality sources; edited, published * Date – current resources; decide whether anything may have changed since the publication of your source that makes it out-of- date * If you do find information on the Web and want to use it…evaluate it first. CRAAP test

35 * One easy way to evaluate a website is to look at the URL or web address

36 * Databases and Search Engines * The Invisible Web

37 * Search engines or Databases * The Web is the swimming pool full of water that is the material on the Internet. * Different tools search different parts of the pool * Different search engines give preference to different sites * Databases search materials that have been pre-selected and hidden behind a partition

38 * Material in published books is not found on the web unless the books have been digitized. * Find these in the school library using eMax, the Library Catalogue. * * Information on the “Invisible Web” * The material that is not searchable by search engines or databases. * Special tools help you. Special databases; search tools like Infomine;

39 * Portals or doorways to sets of resources purchased by companies and sold to us. * Contain published works that have been chosen by the company for inclusion, so are generally of better quality. * Include periodical articles (journals, magazines, newspapers) but also have media and ebooks.

40 * HWDSB’s Virtual Library * * secondary * library * Questiaschool * ID: FC email PW: Ancaster

41 DatabasesSearch engines Search only sources within a company’s products (only deal with published sources) Search the Web or parts of it. (much of the web material is “unpublished” or user must pay for access) Authority or a judgement of who wrote the material all but guaranteed as authors provided and from reputable sources Difficult to verify authors; not all scholarly sources List resources by type of sourceList all sources in order of the search engine’s algorithm (or in order by who pays them more or which sites get the greatest number of hits) Dozens to hundreds of results1000s to millions of hits

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