Academics Advanced Placement AP Capstone Diploma Chaparral High School AVID California Scholarship Federation Career Technical Education English Language Learners English GATE Journalism/School Newspaper Math NHS NJROTC Physical Education Science Social Studies Special Education World Language Yearbook
ASB/Activities Groups/Clubs GSA Key Club Peer Leaders SADD Seniors Chaparral Alumni Association
Band Choir Dance Drama VAPA
Athletics Cheer
Chaparral High School Library Computer Labs Research Databases Steps to Research Mrs. Wren's Top Web Sites College Research
Parent Information CHS Ed Foundation Events Know the News Parents' Corner Parent Teacher Student Association Puma Parent Day Parent WASC Involvement
About CHS Attendance Bookkeeping Calendars Student Behavior and Handbook Health Office Marketing New Student Success Online CHS Store Transcripts Testing SARC
Principal Assistant Principals Support Staff Faculty Staff Resources
Home Page Logo


MLA Format Helps

Knight Cite from Calvin College (citation "machine")

OWL Writing Lab MLA Formatting Guide (Purdue U)

How to cite an e-book

How to format a Word 2007 document in MLA Style

In-text Citations (from OWL Writing Lab, Purdue)

Citation Practice and Games from Grammar Quiz.Com

Note: works better if you click on "skip navigation" in upper right hand corner of page and use the back button to go back to the menu for the next activity, or use the link at the bottom of the page to go to the next activity.

Research POWTOONS!

Plan Ahead -- How long will it take to do a research project? (YouTube version)

     Plan ahead (MP4 version)

Choose a topic -- what makes a "good" topic (YouTube version)

     Choose a topic (MP4 version)

Develop a research plan -- what are "subtopics?" (YouTube version)

     Create a research plan (MP4 version)

Locate sources of information -- print and web sources, how to cite print sources (YouTube version)

     Locate sources (MP4 version)

Web sources -- databases and internet sites and how to cite them (YouTube version)

    Web sources (MP4 version)

Evaluating Credibility on the Web -- How can you determine if a web site is reliable? (YouTube, Jenny Thomas)

Steps to Research

What do I already know about the research process?

Use the Research Rubric for Beginning Researchers  to see if you are a beginner, adequate, accomplished, or master researcher.

*Watch the Plan Ahead video to see how much time you'll need.

Get organized:

Create a folder on your student drive; 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.

1. Develop a topic:

Choose a topic. Do some "pre-searching" in the library by reading a short article from a reference source such as an encyclopedia. 

Is your topic too broad? Too narrow? As you read, jot down important people, events, and ideas which may be good subtopics for your research.

*Watch the Choose a Topic video for help.

Use the green MLA slip to help you cite a World Book article.

2. Develop a research plan

Use the 5 Ws and an H to brainstorm subtopics.

Divide the topic up into three or more subtopics using the Subtopics Web handout.

Use your encyclopedia article to add more specific subtopics to your research plan.

Watch Create a Research plan to understand subtopics.

3. Locate sources of information in a variety of formats:

Use general terms from your subtopics web as keywords to search in our research databases, and in the online library catalog to locate books in the library.

Build and print a list of books to look for, here's how.

  • BOOKS (Print sources): Use the Dewey Decimal system to locate books on the shelf in the library. Watch Locate Sources of Information to understand the difference between print and web sources. The blue MLA slip will help you make a citation for a book.
  • E-books will open from within the library catalog.
  • DATABASES: Use the user names and passwords bookmark (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). See links to databases on this page. Most of our databases have a "cite" feature, or use the goldenrod colored MLA citation slip to help you gather information for a citation.
  • WEB SOURCES: Watch the short Research and the Internet Powerpoint presentation from Purdue University's OWL English with your class for ideas on effective web searches, including Advanced Searches, searching by "domains," and Boolean searches (see handout in Useful Information box). Watch the short Web Sources video to understand the types of web sources.

4. Evaluate sources:

Check the handouts on Evaluating print sources, Comparing databases to web sites, and Web Evaluation Guide to evaluate the information sources you find.

Use the A,A,B,Cs (Accuracy, Authority, Bias, Currency) to evaluate web sources.

Or run your sources by RADCAB for a quick evaluation, or EasyBib (type the URL in the web site evaluation form -- too many empty boxes, not a good web site!)

5. Read your sources carefully.

Think about what you read (pencils down!), and select important information. Does it fit your research plan?

6. 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.  

You may want to try the Interactive Timeline or Note-taking online resources.

An example of how your notes should look: Note Taking Format (also in the Useful Information box).

7. Organize your notes by subtopics Turn your notes into an outline before writing a rough draft.

Cite your sources! Use the Sample Works Cited Page  as a model. 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.

Student Interactives from READ,WRITE,THINK

Note-taking Interactive -- choose a style, such as bullets or outline, do the tutorial, then take notes!

Cornell Notes - two column note-taking allows you to identify key words and concepts

Timeline Interactive -- create a chronological timeline from a person's life (biography), historical event, or plot a story

Bio-Cube -- download the planning sheet, then use it to fill in your cube, print, assemble, and show it off!

Venn Diagram -- a visual way to compare and contrast ideas, events, people, or . . .?


Help with MLA 8th Edition

Modern Language Association web site:

MLA Style Center Quick Guide

Ask the MLA: Frequently Asked Questions

What's New in the Eighth Edition

Formatting a Research Paper

Sample Research Papers

College Websites:

Chico College - Meriam Library - Citing Sources the 9 elements of an MLA citation, with explanations

Concordia University MLA Style Guide  clear explanations with links to how to cite various types of sources

Purdue OWL MLA Works Cited Page: Basic Format  link from this page to other resources, thorough explanations

Useful handouts:

MLA Practice Template pdf new template using "containers"

Spartanburg Community College Library MLA 8th Edition - Works Cited (pdf) format with examples for each type of citation

An Introduction to MLA 8th Edition pdf (Delta College, Hannah Abramson) explanation of "containers"

What's New in MLA Style? (Canisus Library, Bedford/St Martin's) changes in the details of MLA style



MLA Video

From McMaster Library, an introduction to using MLA 8th edition to cite your sources (3:38)


Avoiding plagiarism

Oops, I plagiarized! (from UCLA)

Plagiarism: How to Recognize & Avoid It  (from University of Indiana)

How to Avoid Plagiarism (from University of Wisconsin)  

Web Evaluation Guides

RADCAB fun, interactive online web evaluation

Web Evaluation A ,A, B, C's

Web Evaluation Guide checklist

EasyBIB (register, choose web site, type the internet address or URL into the box and if there are a lot of "red" blank boxes, it may not be not a good site for research!)

Berkeley Web Evaluation Checklist (from University of California, Berkeley Library)

Academic Libraries and Search Engines