The Research Process


Below you will find a guide to help you through the research process. The guide contains lots of information to help you through every step of the way.


´╗┐CHOOSING YOUR TOPIC


Your goal is to find a topic that is manageable--Not too broad and not too specific.

If your small school is Medical and you're interested in researching Domestic Violence, this in itself is TOO BROAD. You must explore this topic in order to narrow it down to a more manageable research topic or question. You might ultimately find information on domestic violence and teenage boys as victims and think that would be interesting. Or you might decide to research more about the effect of high school prevention programs on reducing school violence.

Need IDEAS??

Check out the University of Florida Writing Center website or browse one of the Gale Subscription Databases.

There are also many subject directories to help you explore and research your topic:

Google Directory

Infomine

Librarian's Index to the Internet


WRITING YOUR THESIS STATEMENT

Make sure that your thesis:
  • identities a limited, specific subject
  • focuses on a particular feature or feeling about the subject
  • is stated in a clear, direct sentence (or sentences)
  • can be supported with convincing facts and details
  • meets the requirements of the assignment

Sebranek, Patrick and Meyer, Verne and Kemper, Dave. Writer's Inc. Wilmington: Great Source Education Group, 2001.



SEARCHING FOR INFORMATION


It is important to ensure that your information is Credible, Accurate, and Relevant.

Use these guides to help you determine if your website:

To keep track of your research, you will be recording the sources that you use on source cards/forms. You can download the source cards here:

FORM

Additionally, you will rely heavily on the CPS research databases. The databases listed here are the same as those listed on your bright green databases sheet.

If you do not already have a Chicago Public Library card in good standing, you should GET ONE! Click here for a map of locations.
Review the Searching for Information powerpoint used in class!
As you go through the research process, you will need to fill out source cards to keep track of all of your sources. See the next section for links to the source card documents.

TAKING NOTES AND KEEPING TRACK OF SOURCES


As you research, you will be required to document the sources that you use on the following forms, depending on type of resource:


OUTLING AND WRITING YOUR ROUGH DRAFT


See this Manley HS document on Writing an Introduction.
See this Manley HS document on Writing Body Paragraphs.
Still stuck? Here is a Sample Outline and Paragraph Handout.
See this Manley HS document on Writing a Conclusion
See the Purdue University OWL site for formatting your paper.


CITING YOUR SOURCES


Here is a Manley HS guide on Writing a Works Cited Page.

Check out the Purdue University OWL site for tips on citing sources AND formatting your paper.

Use this simple guide from Writer's Inc. for citing electronic resources using the MLA documenation style.

Also check out this MLA Bibliographic Style Guide from Joyce Kasman Valenza's Power Tools Recharged.


SAMPLE PAPER

from Writer's Inc. website:

The Killer Bean
Should Smoking Be Banned...