Mr. Mohn's Literacy Corner
- Click here to download the Library Media Center 2019 orientation presentation.
- Click here to download the document Standards for the 21st-Century Learner from AASL.
Research Process (using Kuhlthau's Library Research Process Model) - A special thanks to Dr. Carol C. Kuhlthau for giving me permission to reproduce many of her worksheets from her book, Teaching the Library Research Process, 2nd edition.
Information Literacy Rubric Template
Click here to download the information literacy rubric template which allows you to copy and paste rubric information so you can pick and choose the rubrics you want to teach as part of your research assignment. Also, you don't have to re-type this information from one document to the template. You can edit the information literacy rubric to customize it to your project.
Initiating a Research Assignment (Step 1)
Whether it's a teacher, boss or you who is initiating a research assignment it's important for you to generate ideas of all the possibilities out there for topics you can research for this assignment. Your textbook is a good place to start for generating ideas. If you don't have a textbook, then use an encyclopedia to generate ideas.
Generating Topic Ideas
- Click here to download PDF on Generating Ideas for a Research Topic
- Click here to download PDF on Research Topic Ideas
- Click here to read article, Replacing Faux Inquiry with the Real Thing
Concept Maps and Graphic Organizers
Selecting a Topic (Step 2)
Selecting a topic that will keep you very interested for the entire research timeline is extremely important toward your success on this assignment. Talk with your classroom teacher, Mr. Mohn, and Mrs. Waltz, so they can help you make a good decision about your assignment. Once you have a topic then survey the online catalog, our premium databases, ProQuest, and the free web to make sure their are enough resources for you to successfully completely this assignment. Except for an encyclopedia (Wikipedia and Gale Virtual Reference Library), don't take notes on any of these sources yet. Just make sure there is enough information on your topic.
- Click here to download PDF on Getting an Overview
- Click here to download PDF on Questions to Help You Select a Topic
- Click here to go to Reference and User Services Association
Asking Essential Questions
- Click here to go to the University of Wyoming's Investigating an Assignment
- Click here to go to the University of Minnesota's Calculator for Scheduling Long Term Projects
- Click here to download PDF on Steps to Survey a Library Collection
- Click here to download Microsoft Word document on Selecting a Book to Read
Exploring Information (Step 3)
Almost every student I've met wants to jump in at this point and start taking notes on very specific information about their topic before they even understand what the topic is all about (they can't see the forest from the trees). Most students don't take the time to identify descriptors on their topic. They think using a single term will be enough without realizing they're missing out on a wealth of information on their topic because it can be searched using many different descriptors. Use your encyclopedia article to generate descriptors. Lastly, using multiple descriptors will help you find all your resources before you start taking notes. It's important for you to know if there is enough information out there on your topic. If not, then this is the best time to switch topics before it's too late. A good researcher will gather information from a wide range of resources.
- Click here to go to Using the Table of Contents.
- Click here to download PDF on Exploring the Library Media Center
- Click here to go to the Cal Poly's Research Planning 101
- Click here to go to the University of Wyoming's Searching for Information
- Click here to go to the University of Washington's How do I find information about my topic
- Click here to go to the University of California at Irvine's Knowledge
- Click here to download the PDF Inventory of Resources in the LMC
- Click here to download the PDF Source Logs (References, Books, and Periodicals)
- Click here to download the PDF Source Log for Web Sites
- Click here to go read EasyBib Blog on 10 Ways to Spot a Fake News Article
- Click here to go to 10 Funny Web Sites to Teach Web Site Evaluations.
- Click here to go to EasyBib Blog on 7 Fake Web Sites to Challenge Your Evaluation Skills
- Click here to read Stanford Researchers Find Students Have Trouble Judging the Credibility of Information Online
- Click here to view Nathan For You's YouTube on Pig Saving Goat at Petting Zoo
- Click here to view Nathan For You's YouTube video on how fake Pig Saving Goat at Petting Zoo was created
- Click here to read the Washington Post's article, Fake News? That's a very old story
- Click here for Teaching Resources links on Fake News: Teaching Resources
- Click here to read article, In a Fake Fact Era, Schools Teach the ABCs of News Literacy
- Click here to go to Checkology: Can Your Students Tell the Difference Between Fact and Fiction?
- Click here to go to Factitious: A game that tests your news sense
- Click here to develop your own Is This Story Share-Worthy? lesson
- Click here to go to Micahel Shermer's The Baloney Detection Kit (10 questions to ask when encountering a claim)
- Click here to go to Stanford History Education Group's "How to Read Like a Historian" Curriculum
- Click here to read The New Yorker's article, How Headlines Change the Way We Think
- Click here to go to Fight Fake News
- Click here to view the YouTube video on How to Choose Your News
- Click here to go to Newseum to view front pages of daily newspapers
Fact Checking Your Sources
- Click here to go to Fact Check
- Click here to go to Politifact
- Click here to go to Snopes
- Click here to go to Fact Checker
- Click here to go to AllSides: Balanced News
- Click here to go to ProPublica
- Click here to go to OpenSecrets (data on Campaign Finance)
- Click here to go to The Sunlight Foundation
- Click here to go to The Washington Post's Fact Checker (slightly more bias towards liberal views)
- Click here to go to Truth or Fiction
- Click here to go to Urban Legends
- Click here to go to Keyword Searching in Library Databases (University of Missouri - St. Louis)
Fact Checking Sources Using Conservative and Liberal Organizations (use both to understand biased news)
- Click here to go to Media Matters (liberal group following conservative news)
- Click here to go to News Busters (conservative group following liberal news)
Breaking Out of Your Filter Bubble
- Click here to go to Who Decides What Websites You Visit?
- Click here to go to the Nieman Journalism Lab's "Are We Stuck in Filter Bubble?"
- Click here to go to the University of Illinois' How to Burst Your Filter Bubble
- Click here to download Firefox Lightbeam, an add-on for Firefox
- Click here to go to Be More Accepting of Others - Escape Your Bubble
Web Searching Techniques
- Click here to go to Janet Murray's Boolian Logic page
- Click here to go to Janet Murray's Search Engine Worksheet
Click here to go to Patrick Crispen's PowerPoint Files: Internet Tools
- Click here to go to the University of California at Berkeley's Guides for the Internet
- Click here to go to Pandia's Short Tutorial to Search the Web
- Click here to go to Commoncraft's Web Search Strategies
- Click here to go to Beyond Google
- Click here to play the Internet game, Be Internet Awesome
Website Evaluation Tools
- Click here to go to California State University's CRAAP Web Site Evaluation Tool
- Click here to go to Kathy Schrock's Guide to The 5Ws of Web Site Evaluation
- Click here to go to Kathy Schrock's Guide ABCs of Web Site Evaluation
- Click here to go to ICYouSee: T is for Thinking
- Click here to go to the University of California at Berleley's Evaluating Resources
- Click here to go to RADCAB - Your Vehicle for Information Evaluation
- Click here to go to Acadia University's Credible Sources Count!
- Click here to go to Warren Township School District's Web Site Evaluation Links & Hoaxes
Formulating a Focus (Step 4)
This is the most important step in the research process. If you never form a focus you can never write a good research paper, or give a good speech. Narrowing your topic down to a manageable size, so you can focus your research on very specific information is paramount to being successful on your assignments. If you are unsure about your topic and how to narrow it down in order to create an effective presentation, then stop everything and analyze the information you've already found on the topic. You will end up wasting your time collecting information that you won't be able to use in your presentation unless you can focus your research. If after analyzing your exploratory research you still don't understand what you are going to present then talk to Mr. Mohn or Mrs. Waltz for some ideas on how to narrow your topic.
Collecting Information (Step 5)
The biggest mistake students make is assuming they will find all the information they need to complete their assignment on Google. Google covers 23% of the entire web, and the Internet only covers about 10% of all knowledge (when I was in high school students who did this were the ones who wrote their entire paper from a single encyclopedia article). Today, many students use the Internet like an encyclopedia, and the information they find is so watered down that their papers are worse than an encyclopedia article.
Quality research means looking for information in all parts of the LMC (e.g., reference section, books, periodicals, and premium databases as well as the free web). Thinking you found all the information you need from one web site is nothing but plagiarism of a single person's work on the topic and poor scholarship. If you are having trouble finding information, or need help in narrowing your focus please ask Mr. Mohn or Mrs. Waltz for help. Now is the time to find the specific information about your topic. Waiting until the last minute means you won't be able to analyze and evaluate new information before your assignment is due.
- Click here to download PDF Using Boolian Logic and quotation marks to focus searches in Google
- Click here to be redirected to the site Teaching Copyright.
- Click here to go to the University of Wyoming's Evaluating Resources
- Click here to go to EasyBib Blog on 10 Ways to Spot a Fake News Article
- Click here to download PDF on Point of View
- Click here to go to Janet Murray's Evaluating Information Sources
- Click here to go to Feline Reactions to Bearded Men (Improbable Research)
- Click here to go to Junk Science
- Click here to go to SourceWatch: Junk Science
Preparing to Present (Step 6)
Before you sit down to prepare your assignment you need to go back and take a look at the rubrics on which your teacher is going to grade your assignment. Make sure you have completed all the tasks they assigned, and that you have enough information to complete the assignment. Do you have enough information to support your focus, and to support all your main points? If not, then go back to the LMC and make a final check of the LMC for information, or ask Mr. Mohn to help you find the specific information you're still looking for on your topic. Organize your notes under each main point, construct an outline, and write the connecting sentences between each main point before your sit down to write your first draft. Lastly, make sure you have all the bibliographic information so you can build your reference page. I can't count the number of students who forget this step and lose valuable points toward their project.
Have You Collected Enough Information to Complete Your Assignment?
- Click here to download PDF on Adequately Supporting the Focus
- Click here to download PDF on A Final Check of the LMC Collection
- Click here to download PDF on Steps in Organizing Notes
- Click here to go to EasyBib Blog on Organizing your Notes
- Click here to go to 35 Dimensions of Critical Thought (for teachers)
Organizing Your Outline
- Click here to download PDF on Constructing an Outline
- Click here to download PDF on Making Connections
Writing Tips and Hints
- Click here to go to Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL)
- Click here to go to the University of Maine's Writing Center
Annotation Apps for Your SMART Phone or Tablet (Apple Apps)
- Click here to purchase Annotable: Annotation & Markup ($9.99)
- Click here to download free app, Notes Writer
- Click here to download free app, PDF Viewer
- Click here to go to Acadia University's Plagiarism site
- Click here to go to the University of Leeds' Plagiarism Tutorial
- Click here to go to the University of Texas' Plagiarism site
- Click here to go to the University of Wyoming's Utilizing Resources
- Click here to download EasyBib PDF on the Complete Guide to MLA 8th edition
- Click here to download EasyBib PDF on Model MLA Page Formatting
- Click here to go to EasyBib's APA Citation Guide, 6th edition
- Click here to go to EasyBib's How do I cite ... a few uncommon sources
- Click here to download PDF on Instructions for creating an EasyBib account and for creating a bibliography
- Click here to download PowerPoint on In-Text Citations OWL Purdue In-Text Citations
- Click here to go to Long Island University's APA Citation Examples in color
- Click here to go to Long Island University's MLA Citation Examples in color
- Click here to go to APA website
- Click here to go to MLA Style Center
Online Citation Programs
Assessing the Process (Step 7)
Assessing the research process is one of those areas most people forget to do after they finish turning in their research project. However, there are several different types of research processes which call for different critical thinking strategies when researching a topic. Evaluating your research process and your research product allows you not to make the same mistakes again when you have to research a similar topic in the future. A wise man learns from other people's mistakes, a foolish person learns from their own mistakes, but the greatest fool is the person who doesn't learn from their own mistakes. (a take off from an old Chinese proverb).
- Click here to download PDF on Making a Timeline of Your Research Process
- Click here to download PDF on Constructing a Flow Chart
- Click here to download PDF on Preparing for a Conference