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US - 11 - Gee - Biological Connection Points- Project #1: Research Strategies

1. Understand Your Assignment

  • Know what your are being asked to do
  • Be able to restate the assignment in your own words
  • Always have your assignment next to you when you are working
  • Take a look at background information found in the following sources:
    • general encyclopedias, reference books
    • textbooks
    • general dictionaries
    • Background info = Common Knowledge
  • Once you have background knowlege, develop research questions:
    • Write down what you already know or don't know about your topic
    • Using that information, develop questions you would like to answer when doing your research
    • Use probing questions such as why? how? what if? should? 
    • Avoid questions that can be answered with YES or NO

2. Locate Useful Information

  • Search a variety of sources, but focus on conducting scholarly searches while online
  • USE THIS LibGuide!!
  • The search terms or keywords you use to search are what determine the results you get.
  • Generate keyword search terms by identifying the main ideas or concepts within the topic sentence
  • ‚ÄčKeep a list of search terms. (searching "natural history" will not help--be specific: "climate change" or "history of enviornmental changes"
  • Expand your search terms by brainstorming related terms or synonyms that describe your main ideas:
    • Insects: entomology
    • Globalization; development, growth, proliferation
    • History; ancient meaning, orgination
    • Hydroponics; Aquaponics, Aeroponics
  • Use your assignment handout for other terms. 

3. Choose Your Resources

  • Manage time efficiently by using the skim and scan technique
  • Use CMD+F to locate your keyword within a source--if it is a PDF file, you will need to download the file first
  • Discern quality sources by looking for legitimate authors and website publishers. Use the sources provided by the library. 
  • Be aware of he author's point of view, the type of source, and the age of the source
  • Look for sources that support both sides of an argument to get a clear picture of your issue.
  • Just because it comes up in a Google search, doesn't mean it's credible. Look for author information when deciding to use a website in a paper.
  • USA Today article does not carry the same weight as a New York Times article; choose your sources carefully.
  • Limiting a web search to just .edu or .gov can help filter out information you don't want; use the "advanced search" in Google to do this.

4. Keeping Notes

  • A set of good notes will make the writing process much, much easier
  • Always begin by keeping the bibliographic information for all the sources you use
  • Only record information that relates to your topic. Use bullet point summaries of the information you need
  • NEVER copy & paste text from an online source
  • Each point you make should be supported by facts
  • Make certain you are answering the question you have been asked
  • Check your work against the assignment outline

 

Sample Notes: 

http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ OR create citation

  • take notes here in bullet points

Create the Final Product

Each point you make should be supported by facts

Make certain you are answering the question you have been asked

Check your work against the assignment outline

Honor Above All