I appreciate that you're final product incorporated 21st century skills. But your title "How to make writing research papers relevant to students" also got me thinking about the changing process of research. When I was in school, research skills meant being able to use the card catalog for the limited books available in our small school library. With the development of the internet and search engines, research was no longer about just matching to info on a card to the right book on the self. We had to be able to sort through volumes of sites and determine what was quality information and what was junk. Then came Wikipedia and we could not just consume but contribute to the collection of information. And now we have Diigo and other social bookmarking tools that allow us to share the valuable resources we find. The highlighting and posit-notes tools allow us to interact with the text, but more importantly it allows you to read what I thought was most important about the page and skip the rest.
So my question is have the projects we assign students also evolved with these new tools? Or are we still asking students to jump through the same hoops? Are we ready to accept that being able to effectively do research (or find information) is no longer a task I do in isolation, but rather something I do within my personal learning network? Granted not all information can be found within our communities and we still need to be proficient at searching the vast oceans of the world wide web for the buried treasures we seek. But it seems to me that social bookmarking is as much of a game changer as search engines were. Perhaps the social nature of this tool will help make research more relevant and engaging for some students than the historical isolated research process of our own educational experiences.
Two years ago I purchased an ancestry database for our library and put our seniors to work researching their family history. This became our MLA formatted senior research paper and we've seen students pulling together everything from census records and enlistment records to ship manifests and Ellis Island records to piece together who their family was and how they fit into the world from their tiny part of the planet. The project requires interviewing family members and researching the times and places their research leads them. They have been in every database I have and scour the internet. It is the perfect time to explore themselves- just before they head out into the world on their own. Parents and family members often comment it is the best project they have ever seen and they love the chance to talk to the students one on one before they leave the nest. I have yet to encounter a student who was not successful no matter what their background and I find that our exchange students enjoy the project even more than the others.
I am teaching a group of students going into the 11th grade at Upward Bound this summer. I assigned a research essay to them as a final project and they told me they had never written an essay like this before. I had to take a step back in my planning and teach them from beginning to end on how to organize and write this essay. This should be taught so much earlier. I feel it is a great learning experience for them as this program prepares students for college. I had high expectations for them and still do but had to adjust my entire plan to help them learn the basics so that they can prepare and write a good essay.
This can be an enormous problem when you're trying to do serious research on the internet. Too much information is almost worse than too little, because it takes so much time to sort through it to see if there's anything useful. The rest of this section will give you some pointers to help you become an effective internet researcher.
Before you start a research session, make a new folder in your bookmarks or favorites area and set that folder as the one to receive new bookmark additions. You might name it with the current date, so you later can identify in which research session the bookmarks were made. Remember you can make a bookmark for a page you haven't yet visited by holding the mouse over the link and getting the popup menu (by either pressing the mouse button or right clicking, depending on what flavor computer you have) to "Add bookmark" or "Add to favorites." Before you sign off your research session, go back and weed out any bookmarks which turned out to be uninteresting so you don't have a bunch of irrelevant material to deal with later. Later you can move these bookmarks around into different folders as you organize information for writing your paper—find out how to do that in your browser.
Be sure you can use your browser's "Go" list, "History" list, "Back" button and "Location" box where the URL can be typed in. In Web research, you're constantly following links through to other pages then wanting to jump back a few steps to start off in a different direction. If you're using a computer at home rather than sharing one at school, check the settings in your "Cache" or "History list" to see how long the places you've visited will be retained in history. This will determine how long the links will show as having been visited before (i.e, purple in Netscape, green in our site). Usually, you want to set this period of time to cover the full time frame of your research project so you'll be able to tell which Web sites you've been to before.
My Name is Mary Ann Sheppard and it was great to see this today. I am in the process if starting my second Marketing business. I have worked previously as a Marketing Research Analyst in the Financial Services field for over 15 years. I loved my job. I even set up a corporate library in house and placed info on the corporate Internet that way anyone within the corporation worldwide could obtain info at anytime. Plover bad was 35,000 and I was the only one in house that did the research. I also followed all the banks worldwide. There are many places that need researchers and it is a perfect business to run for home.
Be careful with Wonder. I had a bad experience with them. If you make it through their tests, you have a trial period, where your first five questions are reviewed by an experienced researcher, before your answer is approved and sent to the client. This is supposed to be a supportive learning experience. My first answer experience went great. However, my second answer experience was awful. I worked for two hours on my answer and submitted for review. Instead of the reviewer sending it back to me for updates, it was sent back to the dashboard (it is supposed to go back to the original person that answered, for updates – per Wonder policy), which means that I could not re-claim that question, and I did NOT get paid. It was only my second question!! I was treated completely unfairly, and chose not to work with Wonder anymore. I don’t want any association with any company that treats people in an unfair manner (especially when I was told very clearly, about the trial period – five questions, when applying for the job).
I am willing to help anyone in learning how to term their search criteria. It can be frustrating at times but very rewarding. I left when my job transferred from Pennsylvania to Arizona As I Gad 2 teenagers who wanted to graduate with their friends.
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A typical expository writing prompt will use the words “explain” or “define,” such as in, “Write an essay explaining how the computer has changed the lives of students.” Notice there is no instruction to form an opinion or argument on whether or not computers have changed students’ lives. The prompt asks the writer to “explain,” plain and simple. However, that doesn’t mean expository essay writing is easy.
The two outlines below are intended to show both what are the standard parts of a proposal and of a science paper. Notice that the only real difference is that you change "expected results" to "results" in the paper, and usually leave the budget out, of the paper.
Introduction Topic area Research Question and its significance to knowledge Literature review Previous research Your preliminary work on the topic The remaining questions and their inter-locking logic Reprise of your resulting question in this context Methodology Approach to answering the question Data needs Analytic techniques Plan for interpreting results Budget Expected results Bibliography / References
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These 7 steps are the backbone of sound speech preparation. Learn them well at the outset and yes, given more experience and practice you could flick something together quickly. Like any skill, the more it's used the easier it gets. In the meantime...