EXAMPLE: What type of practical solution can be implemented to solve the problems caused by ____________________?
In order to answer your essential question, you will have to answer smaller, supporting questions.
EXAMPLES: What causes this environmental problem? What are the effects of this environmental problem? Who is involved in the conflict caused by this environmental problem? Is there a practical solution to the problem?
2. find a topic and locate sources
Use these databases to find information on the causes, effects, and possible solutions to an environmental issue. The best databases are Global Issues in Context, Opposing Viewpoints in Context, and Science in Context.
3. Skim and scan sources
Use your research questions and list of keywords to evaluate the usefulness of a resource.
Gather all the resources that look useful.
Let your eyes move quickly. Don't do a slow, careful reading. Look for the words that you circled in the research question.
Look at the index at the back of the book and the table of contents at the front of a book.
When you find a heading that looks useful, turn to the page(s) listed and skim to see if that page or section has the information you need.
In print and non-print resources, read the special text features such as bolded text, headings, and subheadings. They indicate large and important sections of information.
Terms or phrases that appear in more than one source indicate that an idea is important.
Read the first and last paragraph of an article. Read the first sentence of each supporting paragraph.
Print articles that appear to answer one or more of your research questions.
Search the website you're browsing for keywords. Hit Ctrl + F and a search bar will appear on your screen. Type in the word(s) you're looking for.
4. sort through sources by creating a working bibliography of sources
Open a new Word document. For each source that looks promising (after you skimmed, scanned, or did a Find on Page search), do these things:
Copy the MLA source citation.
Under the citation, copy and paste the URL for the article.
Write an annotation (a short paragraph).
This should be a minimum of 2 sentences.
Sentence 1: Describe the format (website, database article, video, interview, etc.) of the source and summarize the purpose of the article, website, etc.
Sentence 2: Explain why this source would be useful to your project.
Now you are ready to do a slow, careful reading of your articles.
As you read look for information that answers your research question.
Highlight or underline words and phrases that answer your research question. Highlight sparingly. Too much is almost as bad as none at all.
Write an annotation next to the highlighted information. The annotations should include a key word (cause, effect, conflict, solution) from your research question, and a short phrase explaining how it answers the question.
COMMON CORE LITERACY STANDARDS: WRITING STANDARDS FOR GRADES 9-10
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.