For the next week and a half (today through April 12/13), we’ll just be focusing on learning research skills and then doing research for our final projects.
- Students will become adept at navigating the John Jay library website and the many kinds of online resources available
- Students will learn research skills relevant to the beginning of a project and apply that knowledge to explore their own inquiry questions
- Students will create a base of background knowledge on their topics and a preliminary list of sources to reference as they compose their projects
Overview of Tasks
- Orient yourself with a Writing Into the Week prompt (share only if you wish)
- Watch some short video tutorials provided by the John Jay library
- Begin doing research toward answering your chosen inquiry question, using the John Jay library website
- Keep a running list of sources you think you might want to use for your paper– just pasting links into a file or bookmarking them is fine.
- Toward the end of the module (so maybe April 12 or 13), make a comment on this post giving an update on how things are going with your project (and/or with your life!)
Step 1: Writing Into the Week
- Regardless of how you feel about writing a research paper, what are some things that you are excited to learn as you work on this project? You all had a lot of freedom in choosing your topics– what are you most looking forward to?
- Take some time to freewrite for another 5-10 minutes. Set a timer. Just a few minutes to yourself, to write whatever comes to mind. Or draw! Just keep your pencil on the page or your hands on the keyboard, and keep them moving.
Step 2: Research Training from John Jay Library
Our library offers A LOT of video tutorials. I’m going to list links below for a few that I want you to make sure you watch, but I encourage you to also watch/read others–if not now, then over the course of the next several weeks as questions arise. I will add a longer list of tutorials I particularly recommend on our Resources page.
**Some of the pages might ask you to sign in. Just use your John Jay computer/email login.**
Video 1: From Questions to Keywords
You all have inquiry questions written– how do you choose good keywords that will take you directly to the things you want to find?
Video 2: Getting Started with Google/Wikipedia
Also click to “Part 2” of this tutorial to view the video “Moving From Google/Wikipedia to Databases”
Video 3: Exploration Strategies
- this page to learn how to search for articles on our library’s website.
- this page on how to know if a source is scholarly
Step 3: Research!
There’s a couple places I recommend you start, aside from doing general background research.
- View the library’s Research Guide for your topic’s subject area and choose a database the guide recommends
- Try searching in Academic Search Complete
- In the righthand sidebar of our course site, there are two search bars– one lets you search our course site, but the other takes you directly to the library’s main database, One Search! You can start right now by typing some keywords in there!
Step 4: Running List
You should actually do this one at the same time as Step 3. Whether you use a Word doc, a Google doc, or have another way you prefer to keep track, make sure you keep a list of the sources you find that you think will be useful!
Don’t worry about shaping them into an annotated bibliography right now– we have another couple weeks before we’re at that stage. Just paste the links in there, and maybe leave a note to remind yourself of the title/author/what it’s about and why you chose it.
Step 5: Give a Progress Update!
Toward the end of the module (so maybe April 12 or 13), make a comment on this post giving an update on how things are going with your project (and/or with your life!)
How are things going? What have you found/learned so far? Are you needing to adjust your inquiry question(s)? What are your next steps?
If you want to share, how are things going in your life beyond this class?
***I would like everyone to schedule a virtual conference with me sometime before the end of the semester so we can chat about your paper one on one in real time. It’s up to you when you do it– if you are having trouble getting started with research, now could be a good time! But you can also wait until later in the writing process, or make multiple appointments**