Research Strategy

Guidelines for Research

PLANNING
   
Purpose 
    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.
 
Activities       
    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.  
Outcome
    You have a clear overall question you want to answer with possibly
            some sub-questions.

    You have a set of key search terms with which to be able to begin to 
            find information.

LOCATE AND GATHER RESOURCES 
Purpose 
    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.           
 
Activities
    Make a list of all you possible resources.
    Using key terms, locate resources -- print, databases, Internet, other    
Outcomes
    You have a variety of resources at your disposal with which to begin
            research.
 

EXTRACT AND ORGANIZE INFORMATION
Purpose
    Pulling together information and beginning to organize in a logical
            way.
    Beginning to formulate a perspective on your material.
Activities
    Read and review your resources; note-taking and keeping track of
            sources.
    Determine if you have enough information to answer question.
    Begin to formulate your conclusions.   
Outcome
    You have a body of information from a variety of resources and
            perspectives and you have a logical sequence for ordering your
            information.

CREATE FINAL PRODUCT
Purpose
    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.
Activities
    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.
Outcome
    You have a clear, concise answer to your question in a format in which others can
            understand your research project 
(purpose, research, answers).

SELF-EVALUATION  
Purpose
    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.

Activities 
    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?  
Outcome 
    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.

 
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