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Research Toolkit for Teachers

Research Toolkit for 

Based on The Big 6 in Secondary Schools by Michael B. Eisenberg and Robert E. Berkowitz

Documents listed in red are available in the Document Manager

Research projects come in many forms. But no matter the form the final product takes, there are some essential steps that need to be followed along the way. The steps are not always linear, sometimes you have to revisit and revise along the way. This is a brief guide to help you navigate through the research process with information about proper documentation, citations, evaluating resources, Fair Use Guidelines, and avoiding plagiarism.

  1.  Define the task.
  2.  What do you want the student to do?
  3.  What course standard and/or objectives does the project support?
  4.  Will you supply the topics or will students select their own?
  5.  What is the form of the final product? (e.g. video, PowerPoint, speech,  multimedia, paper) 
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  6.  Model and/or clearly define the components to be completed.
  7.  Develop a rubric that clearly states expectations.
  8.  How can I discourage plagiarism?
  9. Discuss plagiarism with students Anti-Plagiarism Strategies for Research Papers
  10. Define plagiarism  
    Defining and avoiding plagiarism
  11. Show examples of plagiarism Ten question quiz with student examples
  12. Require a Works Cited Page.  Sample MLA Citations 2009 ed.   Citation Guide
  13. Use search engines to search text excerpts from student work if you suspect plagiarism.
  14.  What information is needed?
  15.  How many resources are required?
  16.  What types of resources are required?
  17.  Collaborate with media specialist.
  18.  Information seeking strategies
  19.  What are the possible sources of information?
  20.   A wide range of resources exist. (print, online database, video, audio, interview, web page, the list can go on)
  21.   What resources are available to your students?
  22. Classroom resources 
  23.  Media center resources
  24. Public Library
  25.  Work with students to develop search strategies.
  26. List the keywords and terms to search.
  27.  Look for synonyms and alternative terms.
  28. Use narrower or broader search terms as necessary.
  29.  Work with students to select the best resources to fit the assignment.
  30.  Work with media specialist to create a list of best resources available – works well if all students are researching the same or similar topics
  31.  How do you determine if a resource is credible and/or appropriate for the purpose CAARS and CLAAASS Evaluation Sheets from Big6     Website credibility
  32. III.   Locating and Accessing Information

    1.  Locate the sources-physically find the material.
    2.   Are the print resources available in the classroom or media center?

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    1.   Can the student use search engines to locate appropriate material? 
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    2.  Find the information needed within the sources.
    3.  How to use a search engine. 
    4.  Use of Index, table of contents to locate specific information needed.
    5.  Use of web page navigation tools to locate specific information needed.


    1.  Using the Information
    2.  Student must interact with the information found. (read, view, listen)
    3.  Student must extract useful information
    4.  Note taking (note cards, highlighted sheets, some form of note taking that will allows the student to organize the information and know where the information came from).
    5. Research Process UsingNote Cards
    6. Using Cornell Notes for Research  
      Cornell Notes Template
    7. Note taking using PowerPoint from Big 6   
      Blank Note Taking Template using PowerPoint
    8.   Source information needed to properly compile a Work Cited Page.
    9. Sample MLA Citations
    10.  Links to online resources to create citations
    12. EasyBib App available for smart device


    1.  Synthesis
    2.  Organizing the information from multiple resources
    3.  Create a logical project with information from several resources
    4.   Answer the question, how does this all fit together?
    5.  Present the information
    6.  The rubric should tell students your expectations about how the information is presented.
    7.  All information, pictures, graphics, audio, etc., must be documented.
    8. Correctly cite sources using MLA format.
    9. Works Cited Page or incorporated in the final product
    10.  In text documentation MLA Template for Research Paper
    11.  Follow Davidson County Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines
    12. Remind students to credit themselves for their creative work
    13. Photos
    14.  Art work
    15. Music
    16.  Videos
    17.  Useful Organizational tools
    18.  Outline
    19.  Storyboard template
    20.  Graphic organizers
    21.  Evaluation
    22.  Student assessment (suggestions)
    23.  Using the rubric-students assess their own work.
    24.  Peer assessment.
    25.  Possible student assessment questions.
    26. What is the connection between classroom subject matter and your research project?
    27.  What did you discover about yourself and the research process?
    28. How will this help you in the future?
    29.  Teacher assessment
    30.  Using the rubric, grade the assignment.
    31.  Did the assignment have the desired outcome?
    32.  What unanticipated problems occurred?
    33.  Is the assignment worth doing again?
    34.  What needs to be altered if the assignment is repeated?


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