Discovering what it is you want to know.
Building on what it is you already know.
Thinking through the requirements of the project and the steps you will
need to get to the final phase of your project.
Read in area of interest; consult general reference works.
Come up with a set of questions about what it is you want to know.
Brainstorm key words for beginning research.
You have a clear overall question you want to answer with possibly
You have a set of key search terms with which to be able to begin to
LOCATE AND GATHER RESOURCES
Finding where your source material will come from (public or school library,
community resources) in order to answer your question and locating a
variety of materials in different mediums and from varying perspectives.
Finding out if you have enough resources available to answer your
particular research question.
Make a list of all you possible resources.
Using key terms, locate resources -- print, databases, Internet, other
You have a variety of resources at your disposal with which to begin
EXTRACT AND ORGANIZE INFORMATION
Pulling together information and beginning to organize in a logical
Beginning to formulate a perspective on your material.
Read and review your resources; note-taking and keeping track of
Determine if you have enough information to answer question.
Begin to formulate your conclusions.
You have a body of information from a variety of resources and
perspectives and you have a logical sequence for ordering your
CREATE FINAL PRODUCT
Putting all your materials and all you have learned into a final form both
for yourself and in order to share your findings with others.
Follow presentation guidelines.
Present information within the context of your own ideas and the perspective
you have gained by doing the research.
Include a comprehensive list of citations, footnotes, and whatever
is required for the project.
You have a clear, concise answer to your question in a format in which others can
understand your research project (purpose, research, answers).
Reflecting on the research process -- how well you answered the
main question, how well the research process went, and how
well the final product fit the assignment.
Reflect on the following questions with regard to process:
How effective and efficient were you in doing the required project?
What did you learn from each stage of the process?
How would you do it differently next time?
Were your sources useful; what sources did you need and not have?
Reflect on the following with regard to product:
Compare product to the assignment given.
Did you give credit to all of your sources?
Is the work neat and are you proud of your work?
Can others easily understand your outcomes?
You have some insight into the process you went through to create
the product you did and you have ideas about how to improve
your performance in future projects.
A guide to citing sources and bibliography formats
The recommended format for bibliographic citation and parenthetical documentation (footnotes) used at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North is based on the Modern Language Association (MLA) rules. Samples of the format for different sources are listed below. Also note, High School North subscribes to
Noodle Tools Bibliography Maker:
Click on NoodleBib 3.0 and begin to make your bibliography.
Preparing a list of "Works Cited"
A list of "Works Cited" is a bibliography, a list of sources used in writing a research paper. A bibliography appears at the end of the paper, is double-spaced within and between sources and is usually arranged in alphabetical order by author's last name. Sources without an author are arranged in alphabetical order by title within the same list (ignoring initial "A", "An", or "The"). The first line of each source is flush with the left margin; succeeding lines are indented one-half inch.
For questions about citation formats that are not answered in the following samples, please refer to the MLA Handbook available in the Reference section.
NETWORK CD ROM
Pachner, Joan H. “Abstract Art.” Encyclopedia Americana
. CD ROM.
Danbury, CT.: Grolier Educational, 1997.
BOOK: SINGLE AUTHOR / PAMPHLET
Dow, Lesley. Alligators and Crocodiles
. New York: Facts on File,1995.
BOOKS: TWO OR MORE AUTHORS
Bowring, Richard and Peter Koricki. The Cambridge Encyclopedia Of Japan
. New York:
Cambridge University Press, 1996.
(For more than three authors, only the first needs to be cited
followed by et al., or give the names of all authors in the order theyappear on the title page.)
A WORK FOUND IN AN ANTHOLOGY OR COMPILATION
Whittier, John Greenleaf. “In School Days.” The Oxford Book of Children’s Verse in
America. Donald Hall. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985. 60-61.
A PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED ARTICLE REPRINTED IN A COLLECTION
Porter, Thomas E. “Acres of Diamonds: Death of a Salesman.”
Myth and Modern American Drama (1969): 127-152. Rpt. In Critical Essays
on Arthur Miller. James Martine. New York:G.K. Hall & Co., 1979. 24-43.
A MULTI-VOLUME WORK
Churchill, Winston S. A History of the English Speaking Peoples. 4 Vols.
New York: Dodd, 1956-58.
ONE VOLUME ONLY OF A MULTI VOLUME WORK
Brucker, Carl. “Ralph Ellison.” Magill’s Survey of American Literature. Ed. Frank N.
Magill. Vol. 2. New York:
Marshall Cavendish, 1991. 618-26.
White, Charles S. “Hinduism.” The World Book Encyclopedia. 1997 ed.
(when citing less familiar encyclopedias, give publication information, as below)
Tester, P. “Respiratory Systems.” Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. 11 Vols. New
York: Marshall Cavendish, 1996.
United States. Cong. Senate. Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments of the
Committee on the Judiciary. Hearings on the Equal Rights Amendment.
91st Cong., 2nd Sess., S. Res.61. Washington: GPO, 1970.
ARTICLE IN A SCHOLARLY JOURNAL
Flannigan, Beverly Olson. “Peer Tutoring and Second Language Acquisition in the
Elementary School.” Applied Linguistics 12 (1991): 141-58.
INTERVIEW CONDUCTED BY ANOTHER PERSON
Clinton, William. Interview with George Will. This Week With David Brinkley.
ABC. WABC, New York. 5 April 1995.
ON LINE DATABASE
Stevenson, Richard W. “White House says It Supports A Bill To Overhaul I.R.S.”
New York Times 22 Oct. 1997, late ed.: C1. Proquest Direct. Online. UMI. 30
(Cite the work as it was originally published, then give the program it was obtained from and the service through which it was accessed (UMI). Include enough detail so others can find the article and include the date it was found).
The Western Civilization Videodisc. 2nd ed. Frame # 51094+. Laserdisc.
Instructional Resources, 1997.
(If individual frames are used, list first frame number followed by “+” sign. When using video sequence, give first and last frame number or chapter).
Clapton, Eric. “Tears in Heaven.” Eric Clapton Unplugged. Audio cassette. Reprise,
(If not using compact disc, indicate the format the recording is on).
WORLD WIDE WEB
Burka, Lauren P. “A Hypertext History of Multi-User Dimensions.” MUD History. 1993.
<http://www.ccs.new.edu/home//pb/mud history.html> 5 Dec. 1994.
(Web page author, title of article, title of web page, copyright date, web address, date of search).
Of Mice and Men. Dir. Gary Sinise. Perf. John Malkovitch, Gary Sinise. MGM/UA, 1992.
(When citing a film, give the title, director, distributor and the year. Any other credits -e.g., screenwriter, producer, performers- which are relevant, may be added to the citation).
Shakespeare and the Globe. Dir. Paul Shepard. Videocassette. Films for Humanities, 1993.
NONPERIODICAL PUBLICATION ON CD ROM
“The Rise of Classical Civilization in China.” Discovering World History
. CD ROM.
New York: Gale, 1997.
MATERIAL FROM PERIODICALLY PUBLISHED DATABASE ON CD ROM
(Magazine Database on CD ROM)
“Relieve Pain Now.” Prevention
1 July, 1997. Ebsco Elite.
CD ROM. Ebsco Publishing,
ARTICLE ON MICROFORM
Chapman, Dan. “Study in New York Finds 28% of Surgery Unnecessary.”
New York Times 15 Dec. 1974: 1. New York Times School Microfilm Collection
Dec. 11-20, 1974: Reel 226.
(Author, Article Title, Periodical, Date, Page, Fiche Collection, Date, Reel or Card#).
ARTICLE FROM A WEEKLY MAGAZINE
Bezell, Robert. “Science and Society: Growth Industry.” New Republic 15 Mar.
(For monthly magazines, give month and year; give month, day and year for magazines published more frequently. When article is not printed on consecutive pages, use first page number and a “+” sign., e.g. 45+).
ARTICLE FROM A DAILY NEWSPAPER
Heine, William K. “Shore’s Lawmakers Vote As One.” Asbury Park Press
30 Oct. 1997,
Zuckerman, Mortimer B. “Welcome to Communicopia.” Editorial.
US News and World Report
1 Nov. 1993: 116.
(Book or Movie)
Towers, Robert. “Mystery Women.” Rev of Cat’s Eye
. By Margaret Atwood.
Apr. 1990: 50-51.
Kauffman, Stanley. “A New Spielberg.” Rev. of Schindler’s List
. Dir. Steven Spielberg.
13 Dec. 1993: 30.
INTERVIEW CONDUCTED BY YOU
Scieszka, Jon. Personal Interview. 30 Oct. 1997.