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Aronson World History Q2 Research Assignment: Home

Research Process

You will be writing a paper no longer than 3 pages about a particular person and/or event that made a huge impact in history.  Your paper will be answering your topic's historical question by using sources to support at least two claims.  In addition to quotes from resources, you will also have to include one image in your paper.  You will be learning how to cite all of these sources as part of this research project.   

 

We are organizing this research project based on The Indian Prairie School District's High School Research Handbook PLAN Research Process, which is a joint project between the Metea, Neuqua, and Waubonsie High School LMCs.   

Prepare

Prepare

Before you approach a search engine, there are a few steps you should consider.

Project Planning

  • Make sure you understand the project directions and expectations.
  • Ask questions to clarify your understanding if something is not clear.
  • Break your assignment into smaller tasks.
  • Make a plan with deadlines for each part of your project so you can get them done on time.

Topic Selection & Research Questions

  • Pick a topic for your paper or project.
  • Narrow the topic, if needed.
  • Develop a complex main question for your research.
  • Develop some simpler supporting questions that will help you answer your main question.

Presearch / Keywords

  • Ask yourself what you already know about your topic.
  • Write down an initial list of important keywords (e.g. ideas, phrases, people, jargon) related to your topic.
  • Perform a presearch by reading a reference source article about your topic or perform a brief search about your topic.
  • Add any new terms to your keyword list after you finish your presearch.

Organize

  • Choose a strategy for collecting and organizing information you find during your search (Google Drive, Evernote, NoodleTools).
  • Set up folders, labels, tags, Google Docs/Chrome Extensions or other aides for helping you stay organized. 

Locate

Locate

Google is cool, but it isn’t the end all, be all! Follow these steps to find quality information quickly and efficiently.

​Use  Proper Search Techniques

  • Select the best search tools (e.g. Library databases, books, search engines) based on your topic and research questions.
  • Use advanced search techniques effectively to find information to answer your research questions.
  • Use search operators, search filters, advanced search forms, table of contents, book index and other tools to narrow and refine your search results.

Understand Your Results

Make sure you understand:

  • ​ads vs. search results
  • how search results are organized
  • primary vs. secondary vs. tertiary sources
  • skimming and scanning for keywords (ctrl+f)
  • search filtering features
  • Be able to determine the intended audience and purpose for sources.

Evaluate Information

  • Evaluate each source you want to use for your project using The 7 layers of Website Evaluation.

​Cite Sources

  • Choose the correct citation style for your project (MLA, APA, or Chicago). If you are not sure, ask your teacher.
  • Identify the correct source type for each source you want to include in your works cited list.
  • Locate the information needed from the source for your citation.
  • Use a citation builder (NoodleTools) to create the citation, but remember it is up to you to make sure it is done correctly.
  • Create a works cited list, annotated bibliography or references page when appropriate.

Organize

  • Capture information from your sources that you want to use to answer your research questions using a tool of your choice (NoodleTools, Evernote, Google Drive).

Apply

Apply

What good is all of your new knowledge if you don’t share it with others? Craft an awesome product that others can learn from using the steps below.

Read for Information

  • Read the text (i.e. print or electronic) with your research questions in mind.
  • Determine the audience, purpose, and author's arguments (if appropriate) before and during reading.
  • Use the features of the text (e.g. headings, table of contents, site search engine, article summaries, etc.) as signposts to to help you find and understand information.

Take Notes

  • Identify and summarize, paraphrase or quote important information in your source that will help you completely answer your research questions.
  • Include URL’s, page numbers or other information needed for in-text citations.

Synthesize Your Information

  • Analyze your notes and write a claim that addresses your research questions.
  • Use a standard organizational tool to organize your information (e.g. outline, mind map, diagram, notecards, etc.).
  • Use a standard text structure to organize your project (e.g. cause / effect, problem / solution, chronological, point / counterpoint, compare / contrast).

Develop a Product

  • Choose the most appropriate product format to communicate what you learned to your intended audience.
  • Follow appropriate guidelines for using information ethically to avoid plagiarism or copyright infringement (e.g. source citations, fair use, creative commons).
  • Draft a project or paper that supports your main claim through the incorporation of evidence, parenthetical citation and analysis.

Next Steps

Next Steps

Congratulations on completing your project! Before sending it out into the world, make sure the message is exactly what you intended it to be with these final steps.​

Do a Final Check

  • Proofread your project or paper to make sure you have not made any grammar, style or citation mistakes in your work.
  • Engage in peer review of your project or paper, as directed by the teacher, or have a classmate or someone else check your work for mistakes.
  • Use the project rubric, checklists or other tools provided by your teacher to make sure you have properly completed all of the project requirements.

Reflect on Your Learning

  • Identify your research, writing and reading strengths and areas for future improvement.
  • Set goals for improving your research, reading and writing skills.

PLAN-Research Process

Developing Keywords

Searching Using Keywords