LHS Library Research Guide
Whether you have been assigned a short report or a major term paper, consider the following guidelines and questions as you go about finding information. This research guide is based upon The Big6 Information Problem Solving Skills by Michael Eisenberg and Robert Berkowitz.
1. DEFINE THE TASK
- What is your research topic? Is the topic too broad or narrow?
- See suggestions for topics at CQ Researcher, Opposing Viewpoints in Context and Idea Generator.
- What is the format? (written report, oral presentation or multimedia component)
- How long or extensive must your final product be?
- What type of information will you locate? (current news, historical background, statistics, opinion, interviews, graphs, maps, images, etc.)
2. INFORMATION SEEKING STRATEGIES
- What sources are suitable for your topic? Consider books, reference materials, magazines, vertical file, AV materials, Internet and online databases.
- LHS online catalog lets you search for print and audiovisual items at Lakeview HS Library and locate EBSCOhost ebooks.
- Infotrac/General Reference Center Gold contains articles from newspapers, reference books, and periodicals, many with full-text and images.
- CQ Researcher is a weekly publication of current and controversial issues.
- Opposing Viewpoints in Context provides contextual information and opinions on hundreds of today's hottest social issues
- American Memory from the Library of Congress is a gateway to primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States. The site offers more than 7 million digital items in over 100 historical collections.
- The growth of the World Wide Web has been phenomenal but without quality control. The evaluation of Internet sites becomes an essential part of the research process. You may not always be able to use a detailed Web site evaluation checklist, but you should at least screen Internet material using a few basic criteria. The acronym ACT reminds you to consider:
- Authority: What are the credentials of the author or organization responsible for the Web site?
- Content: Does the site provide accurate, relevant, unbiased material?
- Timeliness: Is information current with site updates undertaken regularly?
3. LOCATION AND ACCESS
- Where can you actually find your sources? (LHS Library, Willard Public Library, interlibrary loan, Internet from school or home)
- What keywords and phrases can you list to describe your topic?
- Watch an overview of Boolean searching.
- View a demonstration on concept mapping.
- Find information within your sources.
- Use indexes and table of contents for print material.
- Use subject list or keyword searching within electronic databases.
- Keep track of search attempts and strategies by using the LHS Library Search Record form.
4. USE OF INFORMATION
- Read, view, and listen to the information.
- Photocopy, print out, download, and email.
- Extract information from sources. See example of How to Read and Take Notes on a Scholarly Journal Article.
- Create a bibliography using citations provided by online databases or by referring to LHS Library Works Cited page.
- Use the Notebook feature of EasyBib to organize notes, keep track of quoted vs. paraphrased material, and associate notes with specific sources from your Bibliography.
- Begin to compose a draft of your research project from the Outline view of EasyBib.
- In addition to a written paper, alternate assignment products may be acceptable
- Be sure to review your assignment requirements to make certain you have not left out any important step.
- Judge the final product. (Effectiveness)
- Judge the information-solving process. (Efficiency)
- See English 11 Research Packet for evaluation guidelines.