Research Path

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    The Research Path

    Topic Selection

    • Do you understand the assignment? Your teacher may give you a list of possible topics or let you choose your own. Be sure you know your options.

    • Think of key words, synonyms or phrases to focus your search. A general encyclopedia might help.

    • Use 99 Jumpstarts to Research or the Sears Subject Headings books for ideas.

    • Try the Library of Congress Online Catalog or Topic-O-Rama

    • Is there a subject you're really interested in? Have you read or heard something that made you curious? Is there a topic that will help you choose a career? Are you passionate about an issue?

    Ask Questions

    Choose Your Sources- Keep Note Cards for Each One!

    • Reference Books, Books, Bibliographies BHS Online Catalog

    • Magazines, Newspapers- print or online

    • Videos, DVDs, CDs, CD-ROMs

    • Interviews

    • Databases BHS Media Center Research Page

    • Search engines, Directories

    • Survey/Questionnaire

    • Other sources: associations, organizations, clubs, businesses, banks, churches, government agencies (federal, state, local), hospitals, museums, zoos/wildlife sanctuaries

    Evaluate Online Sources for Accuracy

    • Look for an author(s) & ways to contact them; the purpose- is it biased, is there a lot of advertising; content-age appropriate, is it current; organization- easy to search; technical aspects-links work, pictures/symbols appropriate

    • Go to urbanlegends.about.com or easywhois.com

    Get Organized

    Rough Draft

    • Have a friend or classmate check your paper for errors or things they don't understand

    • Look at the corrections your teacher suggests.

    • Fix any problems before turning in the project.

    • DO NOT turn in a re-typed rough draft!

    Cite Your Sources

    • If it's not something everybody knows or your own original creative thought, you must cite your source!

    • Are you supposed to use MLA or APA style? Slate Citation Machine or EasyBib will help.

    • Write Source MLA Site will explain the different types of resources.

    • Title the page correctly: Works Cited, Bibliography or References