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Senior Social Studies & Global Issues: Researching for Results

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Presentation on theme: "Senior Social Studies & Global Issues: Researching for Results"— Presentation transcript:

1 Senior Social Studies & Global Issues: Researching for Results
Created by Mr. Tuel, Librarian

2 Key to This PowerPoint Goldenrod slides contain a research tool or
helper. Underlined words - Important terms which may be new to you. You may proceed through this PowerPoint at your own pace, but do not skip any slides. They have all been designed to convey important information for your project.

3 Research Process Review

4 The Research Process: Step 1a
Choose a topic. For this assignment, remember that your topic must be issue-based, i.e., one that presents a problem or question for which you will find a solution or answer. Therefore, the products of your research (paper and presentation) will be argumentative or persuasive in nature.

5 The Research Process: Step 1b
Write a minimum of five questions you want to answer about your topic through your research. Although they may change somewhat as you conduct your research, these questions will guide you through the process.

6 Step 1: Example Topic: The Iraq War Questions:
1. Was there a connection between Iraq and 9/11? 2. Should the Iraq War be considered as part of the War on Terror? 3. What reasons did President Bush give for going to war in Iraq? 4. How much has the war cost to date in terms of lives and money? 5. What do our military personnel who have or are currently serving in this war say about it? 6. What do other nations think of the war? Should we care? Why or why not? 7. Is this war helping Iraq become a democracy? 8. Are we winning this war?

7 The Research Process: Step 2
Start learning as much as you can about your topic from various sources: books, periodicals, electronic resources, the Internet, documentary television shows and videos; consult a minimum of five sources. If you find it helpful, complete an abstract form for each of your sources (example follows on the next slide). Mr. Tuel has the forms.

8 Mount Vernon High School Library Name___________________
Senior Social Studies Project - ABSTRACT Date____________________ Works cited entry/bibliographic citation (remember, reverse indent): _______________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ Type of source: __Book (You need at least 2 books.) (Total of 5 required) __Periodical article (All articles count as 1 source.) __Interview (At least 1 for the paper; 2 total.) __Internet (All Internet sources count as 1 source.) __Other (Documentary, video, etc.) This source addresses the following content requirements: __Political __Economic __Social __International __National __State/local __Historical __Statistics/facts __Antithesis (opposing viewpoint) What is your response to the information found in the article? (1-2 sentences) List any important ideas, facts, etc. from this article on the back.

9 What is an abstract? An abstract is a brief summary of an information source (article, Web site, etc.). An abstract usually includes a works cited entry (bibliographic citation) for the source, a paragraph summarizing the main points of the source, and a paragraph of your response to the source. An abstract may also be called a précis. When you write abstracts for all of the sources listed on your Works Cited page, you have created an annotated bibliography.

10 The Research Process: Step 3
Based upon your reading and thinking, focus your topic. It often helps to do this in the form of a question; for example: Topic: The Iraq War Focus: The Iraq War—Should We Stay?

11 The Research Process: Step 4
Write a thesis statement. By way of review, a thesis statement is one to three sentences which states the conclusion to which you have come about your topic and which provides the direction for the entirety of your paper. Since this is an issue-based paper, your thesis will present your position on the topic you are researching and the point of view for which you will argue. If you had to condense your entire paper into a sentence or two, that would be your thesis. Since this is a problem/solution or question/answer paper, your thesis will present the solution to the problem or the answer to the key question.

12 Step 4: Sample Thesis Statement
While establishing democracy in the Middle East and bringing Saddam Hussein to justice were worthy goals, the pre-emptive war waged by the United States in Iraq has not accomplished the first goal and has been too costly in terms of lives and money to justify the second. Since the civil unrest in Iraq has now turned to civil war, it is time for the United States to withdraw from Iraq and bring our troops home in order to avoid even more violence and bloodshed.

13 A note about the sample thesis
As you have no doubt noticed, the thesis for an argumentative or persuasive paper will, more likely than not, be controversial. It is the writer’s job to explain why his or her opinion has merit and to try to convince the reader that his or her opinion is more valid than the opposition’s. The opposing opinion is know as the antithesis, and the writer must consider, discuss, and try to defeat the antithesis in his or her paper.

14 The Research Process: Step 5
Continue reading for more ideas and information about your topic. If you find them helpful, and/or if required by your teacher, complete the abstract forms (one per source). Take detailed notes as necessary on the larger index cards (4x6 or 5x9). See the next slide for a sample note card format.

15 The Research Process: Sample Note Card
Topic of note card INFORMATION: Facts, statistics, etc. OR SUMMARY: An article or chapter condensed to a few paragraphs PARAPHRASE: The information is put in your own words but you follow the original source more closely than in a summary QUOTATION: The exact words of the original author Author or title, page(s) [Page(s) only if a print source]

16 About taking notes & quotes . . .
Teachers recommend using note cards because they help you keep track of what information came from where, which is essential to know in order to do parenthetical documentation (and be good scholars). Try to summarize and paraphrase as much as you can; use direct quotations sparingly so they will not lose their punch and so you can avoid a paper that looks like a patchwork quilt: blocks of quotations stitched loosely together. Rather, you should strive for your paper to resemble a weaving in which your ideas and those you borrow from others intertwine smoothly to produce a strong and unique piece of writing that can stand on its own merit.

17 The Research Process: Step 6
As you finish your research and note-taking, revise your thesis statement if necessary. Some writers have even gone so far as to reverse their original stance on the issue once they have completed their research.

18 The Research Process: Step 7
Sort your note cards into major and minor groupings and write an outline based upon these. Use the outline to help you identify gaps in your information; do more research to fill in the gaps, if needed. The following slide lists the progression of a formal outline. You may also consult p. 276 of Writers INC for the basic format, but your outline should be more detailed. You may write a topical or sentence outline, but be as consistent as possible.

19 Step 7: Outline Form I. A. B. 1. 2. a. b. i. ii. II. Etc.
Remember – If you break a topic down, logic demands that it be broken into at least two parts. Thus, if you have an A you must have a B, etc.

20 The Research Process: Step 8
Write the first draft. Be sure to use parenthetical documentation for ANY INFORMATION THAT DOES NOT ORIGINATE WITH YOU. It is better to over-document than under-document. Careful documentation/citations will go a long way toward helping you prevent plagiarism, the use of someone else’s information, ideas, and wording without giving them credit.

21 What to document . . . Facts, statistics, and ideas taken from a source Your summary of a source or part of a source Your paraphrase of information from a source Direct quotations from a source Any information that does not originate with you!

22 What NOT to document . . . Information considered general knowledge that most literate persons would know; for example: Yellow, blue, and red are primary colors. The U.S. has troops in Iraq. The U.S. is comprised of fifty states. Ideas, discussion, argument, and analysis that come from your own thinking. Any information that originates with you!

23 By now, most of you are familiar with, an Internet-based service that helps students produce quality writing by checking their papers for plagiarism. checks papers against Web pages, term papers sold for profit on the Internet, and papers submitted by other students in the U.S. and abroad (including MVHS!). Your social studies teacher will require you to submit your paper to

24’s Web site
Visit the home page at and explore the following links: View Demo (upper right of Web page) plagiarismdotORG (bottom right)

25 What is APA style? APA is short for American Psychological Association. This organization has set the rules that some teachers and professors will ask you to follow when writing a research paper or article for possible publication. This style is often used in psychology, education, and science courses and is sometimes referred to as the author-date system. Another style you probably know is MLA style (Modern Language Association). Most high school students are taught to use this style.

26 The Research Process: Step 9
Ask several persons whom you trust to read your paper and offer suggestions for improvement. Be sure your readers understand the requirements of the paper.

27 The Research Process: Step 10
Revise and edit your paper as necessary. Write the final draft.

28 The Research Process: Overview of the Ten Steps
DESCRIPTION 1 Choose a topic; write 5 questions 6 Revise your thesis statement if necessary 2 Read a minimum of 5 sources; complete abstracts 7 Organize your note cards and write an outline 3 Focus your topic 8 Write the first draft; use parenthetical documentation 4 Write your thesis statement 9 Ask several persons to review your paper 5 Continue reading; take detailed notes 10 Write the final draft, revising as necessary

29 Using the Internet Responsibly
Be careful about accepting information from the Internet at face value. Ask some key questions before choosing an Internet source for your project. See the Checklist for Evaluating Web Sites for help (the next slide).

Criteria Key Questions Rating (1-5) (1 low, 5 high) 1. Authority a. Who is the author, and what are his/her credentials? b. Does the author include a biography or contact info.? Authority c. What organization is sponsoring the site? 2. Purpose a. What is the stated purpose of the site? b. Do you think there are any other purposes? Purpose c. Who is the intended audience? 3. Scholarship a. Does the author support his/her assertions? How? b. Does the author provide facts, examples, etc. from quality sources? c. Does the author cite his/her sources? Scholarship d. Are there working links to other, credible sites? 4. Currency a. When was the site created or last updated? Currency b. Is the information as current as it needs to be? 5. Objectivity a. Does the author present balanced information or is (s)he biased? Objectivity b. Do you see a conflict of interest? TOTAL (If less than 20, find a better site!): SOURCES: Based on Duke University's "Evaluating Web Pages" and Kathy Schrock's "Five W's of Web Site Evaluation"

31 Using the Internet Efficiently
As you may be aware, search engines (like Google) and electronic resources (like SIRS) have their own “codes” to increase the odds of conducting more efficient, fruitful searches. Check out SIRS’ at -- USER NAME: sirsmvhs / PASSWORD: jackets -- Click on SIRS Knowledge Source and then on “Help” (upper right corner of the page)

32 Recommended Resources
Books Social Issues Resource Series (SIRS) Issues & Controversies INFOhio: EBSCO During your research time in the library, take the time to search these sources (if you haven’t already) before heading for a general Internet search.

33 MVHS Library Web Page You may use the library’s Web page to access the recommended resources: The next few slides will discuss each resource in more detail and provide the direct link to each site (another route to the resources).

34 Books Check the titles on the book cart. These books are to be used only in the library and will remain on the cart for reference. Search the online catalog (CAT) for your topic. Series titles to look for include Opposing Viewpoints, Current Controversies, At Issue, Point-Counterpoint, etc. The CAT is available from the library’s Web page under BOOKS or from the OPACs in the library.

35 SIRS SIRS contains many types of sources: articles from periodicals, government documents, Web sites, etc. SIRS is an especially good source for checking on the international perspective on your topic. Here is the direct link for SIRS: - USER NAME: sirsmvhs - PASSWORD: jackets Go to SIRS and conduct a search on your topic or get some topic ideas.

36 Issues & Controversies
“Issues & is a reference database that is also a classroom tool and home learning resource. It combines authoritative factual analysis, covering clear explanations of opposing points of view and numerous special features, so students and other users can quickly grasp the essentials of even the most complex topics” (from Issues & Controversies Help: About This Database). Here is the direct link for the Issues & Controversies database: - USER NAME: issues - PASSWORD: jackets Go to Issues & Controversies and search for your topic or get some topic ideas.

37 INFOhio’s EBSCOhost EBSCO includes magazine and newspaper articles and radio and TV news transcripts. Follow these steps to get to EBSCO: 1. Go to 2. Click on Core Collection (blue button) 3. Click on EBSCOhost (blue, green & white button) 4. Click on Student Research Center 9-12 (blue, green & gold button) 5. Begin your search To use EBSCO at home, you will need the following: - USER NAME: mtvernon - PASSWORD: jackets

38 Internet or print source?
Students are sometimes confused about whether sources obtained through the Internet count as Internet or print sources. Use this rule of thumb: If the source exists only as an Internet source (e.g., Web page, Weblog [Blog], ), it counts as an Internet source. If the source originally existed in print, however, it is a print source even if it is obtained through the Internet (e.g., a published magazine article obtained through SIRS or EBSCO). If you’re still confused, check with your teacher or Mr. Tuel.

39 Good Luck! Although you may feel challenged by the senior project, it will go much more smoothly if you plan ahead and do not leave it until the last minute. Please let me know if I can help you along the way, but do keep in mind that I can better assist you if you schedule a time with me at least a couple of days in advance. If you wait until close to the due date, I may or may not be able to help you—it will depend upon my schedule. Best wishes!

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