Comprising of three sections: Theory Hot Potatoes Exercises Peer Research Assignment
Research Unit – Theory Please make notes as you work through the presentation
Research is about gathering together all sorts of information so that you can find out or investigate topics for yourself.
One of the most important things to understand about conducting research is that it cannot be done overnight. This is because - The questioning and information gathering process may need to be refined as you locate new materials. The use of many different resource tools is usually required. It takes time to visit the library, use the computer, read books, source newspaper articles etc. You may have problems finding the information on your own and need the assistance of a teacher, librarian, parents and so on. Materials that you need may not be immediately available – ie placed on a ‘wait list’ for library books.
Do not presume that you can very quickly find the information you need straight away by going on the Internet. A variety of sources is required for research – the Internet is not the only solution. Finding the right information takes time.
R ead your question(s) carefully. E xplore your questions – brainstorm. S earch for information. E xtract information and take notes. A ssemble your notes. R eview to make sure you have everything. C ombine all information. H ow did you go? Evaluate.
The Research Process Questioning Planning Gathering Sorting Synthesizing Evaluating Reporting Acknowledgements
Questioning What problem needs solving? What decision or choice needs making? What is it you want to know? What interests you? Make your questions about the topic clear and relevant. What kind of information do you need to look for – facts, opinions, news reports, research studies, personal reflections, history etc.
To do research you must prepare a question(s) that your work will strive to answer. Good questions lead to good research. Are you developing an argument or just wanting to provide your reader with information.
Factual Questioning The five W’s and a H Developing Research Questioning Pathways Who What Where When Why How
Factual Questioning example For an assignment on Sir Robert Muldoon Who was Robert Muldoon? What political party did he lead? Where and when was he born? Why did he choose that particular party? How did he rise through the ‘ranks’?
OR Asking Interpretive Questions – questions as a result of your own original thinking. Hypothetical – How would things be different today if something in the past had been different? Prediction – How will something look or be in the future, based on the way it is now? Solution – What solutions can be offered to a problem that exists today? Comparison or Analogy – Find the similarities and differences between the main subject and similar subject, or with another subject in the same time, period or place. Judgement – Based on the information you find what can you say as your informed opinion about the subject.
Make sure your topic is ‘do-able’ – something you can complete in the time you have. Think of different ways of ‘exploring’ your topic - brainstorm. Make a list of what needs to be done. What do you already know – your general knowledge. Make a list of resources and their original source. Formulate a priority list of resources – which ones will give the best information. Planning
Clustering Your Ideas An Ideas Map is used for gathering and identifying aspects of a topic to provide the basis for research. Place keywords in the circles and line extensions to identify main headings.
Note Taking Sheets Note Taking Sheets allow you to record the main ideas and the most important information from your sources. Use main headings, keywords and bullets for different points. Use just a word or short phrase to express an idea. Notes should be in your own words. If you copy something word-for-word use quotation marks.
Example Note Taking Sheet Source Author Date Title Place of Pub. URL Source Author Date Title Place of Pub. URL Main Idea 1: …………………………………………. Keywords : Summary Notes Main Idea 2: …………………………………………. Keywords: Summary Notes Note Taking Sheet Topic/Question(s): …………………………………………………………………….
The first priority is to remain focussed on your aim and your question(s) at all times. Efficient gathering consists of two parts: * first locate historical or background information on your given topic * secondly, locate current information. Using more than one source of information gives you a clearer understanding. There are many other sources apart from the Internet. If you find too many, or too few, sources you may need to narrow or broaden your topic. Gathering
Familiarise yourself with a range of available research materials. Traditional Print Sources Journals Books Magazines Newspapers Community leaflets and pamphlets Electronic Sources World Wide Web CD Roms such as Encarta Online Encyclopedias such as Britannica Audio and Video DVD Other Sources – interviews, observations, surveys, artifacts, graphs/charts/tables, experts in the field and sources within your local environment.
FOCUS ON WHAT IS IMPORTANT Sorting Most people: read too much copy out too much use the Internet too much photocopy too much forget to acknowledge their sources.
Extracting the Information Various Options From written material – photocopy, write, highlight. From audio/video – listen or view whole presentation first, listen or view again stopping to write down important points. From electronic sources – downloading information, ensure files are appropriate. Record the sources of your information.
Make sure the information you are collecting is about your topic and don’t waste time on irrelevant material – do these sources tell me what I need to know? Take note of any copyright/publishing dates – is it the most recent information. Evaluate the reliability and usefulness of the information – be aware of the differences between fact and opinion. Be watchful for propaganda or biased information.
Note Taking Make sure you have clearly identified your main ideas (through an Ideas Map) incorporating keywords, dates, names etc. Use Note Taking Sheets referred to in the Planning Section. Note taking is to list briefly the most important facts, ideas, points or arguments from the information source. It is not meaningless copying out of information. Notes should be well set out with numbered headings and subheadings. They will probably not be full sentences.
Synthesizing Synthesizing is organising your material from its various sources and putting it into a logical order or sequence. Decide what is important – record it clearly and briefly. Only include what you feel to be the most important points. Eliminate information which is repeated or doesn’t belong. Make sure you include whatever is going to be necessary to identify your source later (ie title, author, publisher, copyright, website etc).
Development of Material Create an outline Create a storyboard Make a sketch Write a rough draft
Where possible use graphics/images to depict your information and to demonstate how it comes together. Consider: charts tables timelines ClipArt picture images.
You now put all of your information together as a draft format. Refer back to your “W and H” questions as a focus in relation to the analysis of your research. Have your Questions been answered?
Evaluating Review your assignment, be critical of its format – what are its strengths and weaknesses. Have you answered your questions with accuracy and detail? Are changes needed – do you possibly need to redirect your research as a result of material gathered? Have you met the criteria set up for the assignment?
Are you satisfied with your research results? Have I remained focussed on my task? Is my information clearly and logically organised? Have I used a variety of sources? Have you done everything, is everything included? Is it complete?
Reporting Edit, spellcheck and proofread. Pay attention to details such as neatness, consistency etc. Remember your report must: * explain the information * summarise the information.
Presenting the Informaton Be aware of who your report is for and what will be the best form. There are countless ways information can be presented: Verbally Mathematically Visually Diagramatically Musically/rhythmically/dramatically etc
Acknowledging Sources Give credit where credit is due. Whenever you obtain information from elsewhere you must be sure to give the author of the work credit. Knowingly representing the work of others as your own is “plagarism”. Plagarising someone’s work is unethical and it is against the law. Copyright law protects an author’s work from being copied without his/her permission. In order to comply with copyright law, you should always credit the source.
The most common and acceptable way of acknowledging your sources is through a bibliography. A bibliography is a list of all the sources you used in your research ie the books and other forms of material used to obtain information on a subject. It is usually included as a separate page at the end of your assignment and titled “Bibliography”. Certain information must be supplied in a bibliography.
Bibliography Requirements For a Book Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name. Publication Year. Title. Publisher Location (town or city). Publisher.
For an Encyclopedia Article Encyclopedia Name. Edition Year. “Article” Title.
For a Newspaper, Magazine, Periodical or Journal Article Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name. Publication Date. Publication Title. Page Numbers.
For a Film, Video, DVD or CD Rom Title. Release Date. Studio or Distributor. Length.
For an Internet Source Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name. Year. “Article or Page Title” Site Name. URL (Website Address).
Research Unit Bibliography example Books Broadbent, Coral. (1982). Library skills. Christchurch: Action. Gawith, Gwen. (1991). Ripping into research. Hong Kong: Longman Paul. CD Rom Encarta Premium Suite. (2004). Microsoft.
Internet Cambridge Rindage and Latin School. (2004). Brainstorming research questions. www.crlsresearchguide.org Glasgow, Janice. (2004). Research ideas. www.qucis.queensu.ca Lew, Jonathan. (2004). Research skills. www.jlhs.nhusd.k12.ca.us Pledger, P. (2004). Research help. www.members.ozemail.com.au
YSU Grant Team. (2004). Steps in the research and writing process. A good way to get started. (2004) www.karn,ohiolink.edu www.big6.com Research strategy. (2004). The seven steps of the research process. www.library.cornell.edu Evaluating sources. Introduction. (2004) www.owl.english.purdue.edu
Info zone research skills area. Are you about to do research? (2004). www.pembinatrails.ca Research skills tutorial module 1: The research process – UMUC. When should I begin my research? (2204). www.umuc.edu
Make sure you have adequate notes so that you can commence the Hot Potatoes exercises. You have now completed Section One of the Research Unit. Hot Potatoes – click for information on the next slide
Follow these instructions to activate Section Two - the Hot Potatoes exercises: go back to the Information Technology website Year 10 link Units of Work – Research Unit Section Two – Hot Potatoes, complete the five exercises following the instructions. Peer Research Assignment – click for information on the next slide.
When you have completed the Hot Potatoes exercises you are then to go to Section Three the Peer Research Assignment ie back to the Information Technology website. Once Section Three is completed that then brings you to the end of the Research Unit of Work. Research Unit Peer Assignment