Handouts for 9th graders (see more on Research Pathways page)
Steps to Research
What do I already know about the research process? Use the Research Rubric for Beginning Researchers (in the Useful Information box to the right) to see whether I am a beginner, adequate, accomplished, or master researcher.
Developing a research plan: Choose a topic, ask some general research questions about the topic, create a "web" or chart, and divide the topic up into three or more general subtopics. Use the Subtopics Web handout (in the Useful Information box) to help organize your thoughts. Do some general reading on the topic from a reference source such as an encyclopedia to add specific subtopics to the research plan.
Get ready: Create a folder on your student drive; in the folder start a blank Works Cited page. Save any research database articles you find in the folder, and keep notes and rough drafts there. Get a "flash drive" to easily carry information back and forth from home to school.
Locate sources of information in a variety of formats: Use general terms from your subtopics web as keywords to search online in the research databases for articles, and in the online library catalog to locate books in the library. Use the Dewey Decimal system to locate books on the shelf in the library. Use the bookmark with user names and passwords (pick up in the library) to locate information in our CHS research databases (the back side has tips on finding MLA citations in the databases).
Watch the short Internet Search Tips Powerpoint presentation with your class for ideas on effective web searches, including Advanced Searches, searching by "domains," and Boolean searches (see handout in Useful Information box).
Check the handouts on Evaluating print sources, Comparing databases to web sites, and Web Evaluation Guide (Useful Information box) to evaluate the information sources you find. Use the A,A,B,Cs (Accuracy, Authority, Bias, Currency) to evaluate web sources.
Take notes as your teacher directs; note the page number where you find information so that you can later create in-text citations as needed. Organize your information by subtopics.
Cite your sources! Use the Sample Works Cited Page (Useful Information) for general directions, and for more detailed and specific information, check out the links in the MLA Format Help on the Research Databases page. The color-coded activity slips in the library will help you gather the needed information in the correct format.
Check the MLA Format Helps (box to the left) for samples of finished research papers, or use the MLA Guide in the library reference section to be sure you are correctly typing the finished research paper.