Student Researching


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This is my final project for my Internet in Education course. I utilized PowerPoint to put together a quick presentation for students on how to research, the importance of citing properly, and basic MLA guidelines. Many external sources are us

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  • This is a presentation created as a final project for my graduate Internet in Education course in Fall 2011 for Professor Ann Barron at University of South Florida. It is also offered as a guide or tutorial for students and/or classroom teachers on the researching process basics and on lessening research and writing anxiety. Also covered is a basic outline and some resources for the MLA format and style requirements.
  • These are my goals for the audience of this presentation. I will be guiding you through a few slides and providing a few pages for you to keep and to which you can refer through the writing process so that, when you turn in your final paper, your work will be consistent with copyright/ plagiarism rules, will have relevant supporting references, and will be formatted and cited correctly according to MLA.
  • DISCUSSION POINT: This short pre-test will enlighten us, the teachers, and you, the students, on how much you know about the writing process, using references, and writing styles. FOR TEACHERS: This will not be graded. Instead, students will take five minutes to fill out the multiple choice quiz form* and then swap papers with the students sitting ahead of them (the first row will give their papers to the last student in each row) and we will peer-review our responses. When you get your own form back, we will discuss the answers and how you think you did versus how you thought you were going to do on this quiz. *Teachers will ask each question aloud to ensure that we are all moving at the same pace. This entire exercise should take no longer than 5 minutes.
  • Secondary sources can be in print or electronic. They are not limited to scholarly or academic journals; however, those types of publications generally offer a higher quality of expert research and writing standards, many of which are peer-reviewed (or reviewed by fellow experts and academics in the respective fields) and are, thus, more suitable as references or support for writing. There is nothing wrong with using the Internet or electronic means for researching and finding relevant and strong sources. The Internet is a great tool for electronic resources and enables you to find many sources through remote access. Searching the Internet using search engines like Google, Bing!, Yahoo, or other similar search engines will search for keywords and phrases using Boolean operators through the superficial web. In other words, the results that appear from the search will not be qualified for authority, credibility, accuracy, or timeliness. More refined search results can be found through deep web searches. Deep web searches are those done through less-superficial electronic databases, often in tandem with the Internet or accessed through Internet or web communications. An example of a deep web search is a search done through a database. Some of these databases are open-access, or available for use by all users, even those not logged in to a community or with special privileges. Private databases that can only be accessed through subscriptions are also deep web searches when accessed remotely via the Internet. These databases might be accessed through parent organizations like libraries or schools.
  • The library—either in a school, a university, or the public library—is a great resource for users who are seeking information either from the Internet or through deep web searches. School, academic, and private libraries will require student log-ins and passwords and most can be accessed through the institution’s website or on-site at the institution itself. Public libraries can be accessed remotely. A library card and user number may be required for in depth access of deep web databases from remote sites, but are often open to any users at the library location. That said, a library card is free. With a library card number, many of the same databases available to expensive or private institutions are available to anybody who signs up for a library card. This SIMPLIFY YOUR SEARCH TO FIND IT AT THE LIBRARY poster [created by me] shows the short steps to finding databases at the library and tips for finding the right source for your needs.
  • Wikipedia may be a good place to start to get a broad picture of what people think about a certain topic, but it is not a scholarly resource. Many of the contributors to Wikipedia use online references for their contributions (see the References listed at the bottom of the Wikipedia entry page), but it is not written in a peer-reviewed journal, meaning that other experts in the field are checking the work and supporting the value of the discussion, and is often peppered with irrelevant or erroneous information. There are many other databases—or storage houses of sources—available to young people and students that are filled with appropriate content and are often much more helpful to you as learners and writers. DISCUSS GOOGLE SCHOLAR AND FLORIDA ELECTRONIC LIBRARY SOURCES.
  • (The image for this slide is borrowed from the University of Connecticut class guides webpage and can be found at What is plagiarism? In simple terms, plagiarism is when a statement or written work that was spoken or written by a person is used by a different person as though it is the user’s own. This can be done two ways: intentionally or unintentionally. Intentional plagiarism involves knowingly using another person’s words and claiming they are your own. When a student does not write his or her own paper and, instead, has someone else write it, attributing credit to him or herself OR copying word-for-word another person’s writing and passing it off as his or her own is intentional plagiarism. But there is such a thing as unintentional plagiarism and that usually involves not giving proper credit to the author of written work or “borrowing” the ideas of another writer or thinker without crediting the original work. For instance, if you read a source and paraphrase a few sentences into one without citing that you, the writer, borrowed this directly from another work, that is unintentional plagiarism. Knowing how to properly cite a source is a great way of protecting your writing from unintentional plagiarism. What is copyright? Copyright is the right of an original author to retain ownership and claim to his or her work. Copyright information is available on all sources including books, magazine articles, scholarly journal articles, and websites. Crediting authors is a matter of being knowledgeable about finding copyright information and citing the information within your written work.
  • These are some of the basic criteria for publishing or submitting a paper in MLA format. MLA is commonly used by schools, which is why I’ve chosen to present on this form of writing. Other styles worth considering for your own writing are American Psychological Association (APA) and Chicago Manual of Style. There are others as well. What is important is that each of these styles encourages writers to present their work in a consistent, orderly, and logical fashion. Each style demands that writers cite their sources—albeit in different ways—to ensure that all ideas are original and that all credit is given to originating thinkers and authors. (If you are using this presentation to teach MLA to a group of students, please use the following discussion points with your class: WE WILL GUIDE THE STUDENTS TO THE COPYRIGHT INFORMATION PAGE IN THE BOOK AND REFER THEM TO THE MLA GUIDELINES HANDOUT AND ASK THEM TO CREATE A PROPER ENTRY ON THEIR WORKS CITED PAGE FOR A WRITTEN WORK JUST AS THEY WILL BE DOING FOR THEIR PAPER. ADDITIONALLY, WE WILL WORK ON A QUOTE FROM THE NOVEL (RANDOMLY SELECTED BY STUDENTS) AND WRITE AN IN-TEXT CITATION FOR THAT ENTRY TOGETHER USING THE BOARD.)
  • The “MLA Guide” page is a jpg file that can be printed out and handed to students or collected for yourself as a checklist for completing written work according to MLA style and format.
  • Writing isn’t just producing words, adding sources, and turning in a paper. Writing is a matter of quality. Many times, a short evaluation of one’s own writing can yield findings of errors –small or large—or opportunities for improving by meeting the assignment’s criteria and the criteria of a writing style. Grade yourself.
  • Student Researching

    1. 1. Searching Smart: Finding and Using Sources By: Cristy Moran University of South Florida For: Prof. A. Barron, EME 6936, Fall 2011
    2. 2. Goals: <ul><li>To define the types of sources used in research writing </li></ul><ul><li>To arm you with tools for researching electronic sources remotely or at the library </li></ul><ul><li>To teach you how to cite references properly so you are not guilty of plagiarism—knowingly or unknowingly </li></ul><ul><li>To teach you the MLA style and formatting criteria </li></ul><ul><li>To guide you in evaluating the final draft of your paper </li></ul>
    3. 3. Evaluate Your Understanding <ul><li>Writing and researching processes are very closely related </li></ul><ul><li>You may know more than you think you do…you also may know less </li></ul><ul><li>The pre-test : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A short questionnaire about the writing process as a kind of pre-test to see where your knowledge of the writing process is </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. The Pre-test <ul><li>When should a student add references or quotes to his or her paper? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As the student is writing the paper </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>After the student has written the paper </li></ul></ul><ul><li>True or False: All Google Scholar references are free and are accessible from any computer at any time. </li></ul><ul><li>What does the term “in-text citation” mean? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there such a thing as unintentional plagiarism? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Yes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not sure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Continued on next slide </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><li>Which of the following are required elements for MLA style and format papers? (You may select more than one.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A cover page </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Footnotes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A references or works cited page </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In the following citation, what does “Oral Tradition” name? Mason, Bruce Lionel. “E-texts: The Orality and Literacy Issue Revisited.” Oral Tradition 13.2 (1998): 306-29. Electronic. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Article Title </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Journal Title </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Database Title </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Author’s Society/ Organization/ Institution Affiliation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Which of the following are Boolean search operators? (You may select more than one.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>AND </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IF </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ALSO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NOT </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some punctuation marks can also be used as Boolean operators </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. The Answers… <ul><li>When should a student add references or quotes to his or her paper? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As the student is writing the paper </li></ul></ul><ul><li>True or False: All Google Scholar references are free and are accessible from any computer at any time. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>False: Depending on the access point you are using, Google Scholar’s open/ free sources vary. The access is subscription-based to many databases. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What does the term “in-text citation” mean? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An in-text citation is a reference made to a source quoted or paraphrased within the body of the written work. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Is there such a thing as unintentional plagiarism? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Yes </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. <ul><li>Which of the following are required elements for MLA style and format papers? (You may select more than one.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A references or works cited page </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In the following citation, what does “Oral Tradition” name? Mason, Bruce Lionel. “E-texts: The Orality and Literacy Issue Revisited.” Oral Tradition 13.2 (1998): 306-29. Electronic. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Journal Title </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Which of the following are Boolean search operators? (You may select more than one.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>AND </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NOT </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some punctuation marks can also be used as Boolean operators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How well did you do? </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. How do you research?
    9. 9. Why? When? <ul><li>Researching is a process of gathering information . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The information you gather will help you form an idea about what you are researching. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It will also help strengthen your argument by offering substantiated support. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You should being researching as soon as possible ! </li></ul>
    10. 10. Searching Smart <ul><li>Make your search smart by… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowing what to look for—using search terms, keywords or phrases, and filters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowing where to look—using the web search engines or deep web databases, libraries or at home </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowing what to do with what you find—reading and evaluating retrieved items </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. <ul><li>Start off with a search question or topic for research. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Narrow it down to get clearer results. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create key search terms—words, phrases, names—to get more specific results. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Read what you research. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Often students search for quotes that support their ideas without looking at the context of the work. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn how to paraphrase large portions of text from your sources so you can include them in your writing without taking up much more space than necessary. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Be willing to change your mind! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning while you research means that, often, new information will challenge the ideas you started off with. </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Primary Source vs. Secondary Sources <ul><li>There are different kinds of sources that are used in papers—all types of papers. </li></ul><ul><li>Primary Source is the work you are writing about. If you are writing about a novel, then the novel is the primary source. </li></ul><ul><li>Secondary Sources are reference sources that discuss the novel will be helpful in forming and supporting your ideas. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Appropriate references include non-fiction works like scholarly articles, articles that appear in popular but professional news magazines, books that include discussion on literature or authors, graduate dissertations or theses, and similarly well-researched and scholarly materials </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Finding Secondary Sources <ul><li>Resources for GOOD secondary sources include databases for academic journals or books, and professional expert or journalistic articles </li></ul><ul><li>A web search is when you use a search engine like Google or Bing! or other general web searches for keywords and terms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No guarantee of authority </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No guarantee of timeliness </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Set yourself up for success by utilizing deep web searches , too! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Deep web searches involve databases and, often, subscription-based access. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There are access points for free deep web searches. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Libraries—public, school, or academic—often offer access to databases for free. </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Using the Library <ul><li>Using the library gives you the benefit of increased database access, a broad range and large store of articles and books, a variety of different kinds of resources, and expert help from librarians. </li></ul><ul><li>Library can be used on-site or remotely. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Some Good Places to Start: <ul><li>Google Scholar —all reading levels and search interests, varying access without entry through academic or public library access points </li></ul><ul><li>Directory of Open Access Journals –various ways of searching including by subject or title or keyword/ search terms </li></ul><ul><li>First Monday –peer-reviewed, open access journal for articles about the Internet and related science and technologies topics </li></ul><ul><li>Florida Electronic Library —intended for K-12 teachers and students, grouped by reading levels </li></ul><ul><li>Public Library databases —various organizational schemes depending on library, varying access without entry of library card number </li></ul>
    16. 16. Citing Your Sources…Why and how to?
    17. 17. The Truth about Plagiarism <ul><li>What is plagiarism? </li></ul><ul><li>A lot of students don’t know that they’re plagiarizing </li></ul><ul><li>Knowing how to use references properly is the best way of preventing plagiarism </li></ul><ul><li>Using a quote to support your ideas is not plagiarism if credit is given to the original author and written work </li></ul>Image borrowed from the University of Connecticut class guides webpage and can be found at
    18. 18. When Should You Cite? <ul><li>Using research or references to inform your writing means that you are reading and identifying key ideas from sources before or as you write your paper. </li></ul><ul><li>Start noting your references and where to find them as you write your paper— </li></ul><ul><ul><li>However, you can leave your Works Cited page until after you finish your final draft. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This will minimize the amount of work that you will have to do at the end of the writing process. </li></ul>
    19. 19. Basic MLA Criteria <ul><li>Paper Formatting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Times New Roman, 12 pt., double-spaced, margins: 1” around </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You do not need a cover page. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First page heading, left hand corner: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Name </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Class </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Date </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Title: Centered, follows the heading </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Citations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cite work quoted or paraphrased throughout the body of the paper. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Works Cited page: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Books—Lastname, Firstname. Title of Book . Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium of Publication. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Article—Author(s). &quot;Title of Article.&quot; Title of Periodical Day Month Year: pages . Medium of publication. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Resources for MLA Style and Format <ul><li>Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) MLA guide at . </li></ul><ul><li>“ MLA Guidelines” handout (on right) </li></ul>
    21. 21. Evaluating Your Writing <ul><li>After the editing process, review your final draft through a process of evaluation. Grade yourself using the following criteria: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Content and Ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Language Use and Mechanics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Source Use and Citation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MLA Style and Formatting </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. Self-Check Questions <ul><li>Content and Ideas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Did you address the prompt or topic? Have you supported your thesis with strong details from the book? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Language Use and Mechanics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is your language clear and appropriate for your level of education? Are you correctly using words and grammar? Are you using a variety of words, transitions, and punctuation? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Source Use and Citation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Did you properly cite quotes from the book and ideas/ quotes from at least one outside source? How consistent is your Works Cited page with MLA style? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>MLA Style and Formatting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Did you follow MLA style and format guidelines for this paper? </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. Evaluate Your Understanding <ul><li>Consider the following open-ended questions as you evaluate what you’ve learned about the researching process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When should you start discovering secondary sources for your written work? When should you start finding where to place references in your written work? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What resources do you now have to help you through the writing and researching process? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify two places you can start looking for valid sources on the Internet—not including Wikipedia. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How can the school library or the public library benefit your process? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the benefit of using MLA or a similar style guide for your writing? </li></ul></ul>
    24. 24. End.