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The Research Process Mr. Burt—Southwest HS—El Centro, CA
Whenever you need to learn something, whether it’s a fact or an assignment for class, you have to do research. If you use this research process it will be much easier.
Getting Started - the Pre-Search What do I know? What do I need to know? What are my essential questions? Prior knowledge - what do I already know about this topic? What do I need to know? Do I need to refine my topic - narrow or broaden?
Getting Started - the Pre-Search Timeline: When do I need to have this done? What is the due date for each stage of the project? How much work time do I have in the library media center for research work? What is my timeline for each stage of my research (outline, notes, rough draft, final product)?
Getting Started - the Pre-Search Plan your search strategy: How will I get this done? Sources of information available? Requirements for number and types of resources? What will help me answer my essential questions? Keywords related to my topic? Method of presentation? Type of presentation? Audience?
The Research – Data Collection and Analysis Find your resources, collect your information, evaluate what you find, and use it in ways that make it your own.
The Research – Data Collection and Analysis Locate the resources. Library catalogs Books and print resources Periodicals Online databases Web sites Experts who know the subject
The Research – Data Collection and Analysis Gather your information: Collect what you can use. Skim and scan to identify relevant information. Record information that answers your questions. Evaluate the content of your sources: Identify what is fact and what is opinion. Is the information accurate? Is the information biased? Is the information current? Does this information answer your original questions? Revise and redefine your questions, as needed.
The Research – Data Collection and Analysis Interpret the information: Make it your own. Summarize information in your own words. Organize and analyze the information in a new way. Synthesize the information to create your unique ideas about the topic. Draw conclusions based on the information. Be sure to record titles, authors, publishers, dates and other relevant information for citation purposes.
Putting It All Together - the Post- Search Prepare your presentation and evaluate your results.
Putting It All Together - the Post-Search Communicate what you have learned. Create your presentation. Cite your sources appropriately. Check the MLA resources, on the Media Center’s “How-to” web page, for recommended formats. Present the results of your research.
Putting It All Together - the Post-Search Evaluate what you did and assess the results of your research. How well did you do? Does the final product answer your research questions? Did your end product effectively inform, persuade, or entertain your audience? Was your research strategy appropriate and efficient? How can you do better in the future?
References: Oregon School Library Information Systems, (2006). “The Research Process.” Retrieved January 11, 2006 from http://www.oslis.k12.or.us/secondary/
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