Thursday, November 25, 2010

Will the REAL information please stand up?

WOW...there is a lot of information on the web.  It is easy to type in Civil War and come up with 65,000,000 hits.  That would take a lifetime to weed through - and you only have three weeks to get this paper out.  Simply Googling your topic might not be the best use of time.

What to do?

Here is an idea.  Find the article about your topic on the Wikipedia page.  Please do not use this as a source.  This site is not reliable for using in a research paper.  This is because anyone can edit the page.  If I think I know a lot about the guitars, I can change the guitar page on Wikipedia.  This makes for an unreliable and non-credible source.  You can use it to find some key words in an effort to query a smaller Google search.

On the Wikipedia site for the Civil War, I find terms like "Corwin Amendment."  This time I only get 289,000 hits.  Still too much to look through, but more specific information for a narrower research paper.  This is a good way to use Wikipedia. 

Search through the Wikipedia page on your topic...then search with some specific key words.  See what you come up with.  Share some love and leave a comment about your search.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Visual Learners

Are you struggling with your research paper?

Have no spiderweb maps are here!

Some of us can remember those concept maps from earlier years.  In the center is your big idea.  Next are your main points. Then you web smaller ideas together.  This is a first step in the writing process.  It precedes the o-u-t-l-i-n-e (dare I say the word).

Using the Mind 42 - Concept Map link on the right of my blog, create your own concept map for you 11B research project.  You can have fun with this one. 

Watch your spelling!  You cannot change it once you hit apply. 

Once you complete your concept map, post it on the discussion board to discuss with your classmates.

Here is my concept map for the Civil War:

Email me with questions.  (You might have to enlarge the page presentation to see all my categories).  Like all pieces of writing, this is a work in progress.

Basic Slide Show on Research Skills

The Skinny On Your 11B English Research Paper

Research IS exciting.  You learn new information.  You gather your thoughts and findings into a formal piece of writing.  And best of all, you show off your skills to impress your English teacher :-).

For this assignment you will be writing a research paper for your 11B English class.

The Prompt:  Investigate a historical event from the time period in America from 1860 to the present

The Catch:  A lot of history is fun to look at, but this time around you must connect it back to literature.  Your concluding paragraph(s) will cover how this event impacted American authors and literature.

The Skinny:
Clear Thesis Statement
Several Main Ideas
Minimal errors in spelling and grammar
Logical and smooth flow of ideas
A least 4 pages, double spaced.  (4 will get you a "C")
Font: Times, New Roman, 12 pt., 1 inch margins
CORRECT and appropriate - MLA Citations (both Works Cited page and Parenthetical)

The Due Date:  Last Friday of this course (12/5/10) 

Where to begin?
1. - Conduct a brief search of your textbook.  There are several good time lines at the beginning of each chapter. 
2. - Google the time periods
3. - Ask others

Once you have your topic, post in on our ExploreATree Project Page (I emailed you a link to find it).