Intro Activity 1 Activity 2 Activity 3 Activity 4 Activity 5 Activity 6 Activity 7 Activity 8

    research zone



    So, you've been given an assignment to research a topic.

    First, you need to check out all the print resources and e-Books available from the Book & Media Catalog.  

    Now you are faced with some other problems.

    • Which Internet-based resources will you use?
    • What kind of search will you do?
    • How will you state your search strategy?
    • How will you know if your sources are any good?
    • How will you cite your Internet-based sources?
    • Will you print, download, or email the information to yourself?

    This project is designed to introduce search strategies and resources for today's information age.  It is also a college-ready standard so that you are prepared for rigorous research.

     the task  

    The Task


    To develop a quality search strategy and determine which online resource(s) meet your specific information needs.


    To complete the task, you will need the following learning targets, which align with the Arizona Educational Technology Standards, specifically Strand 3:  Research and Information Literacy. 

    • Skill in determining the appropriate database (research resources) for the information needed.
    • Skill in identify and defending effective key words, phrases, and strategies for information searches.
    • Skill in evaluating diverse information sources.
    • Skill in utilizing advance search strategies in a variety of search engines and databases.
    • Skill in defending the authority or primary and/or secondary sources used in research.
    • Skill in evaluating information for accuracy, objectivity (facts, opinions, bias, misleading information), currency, and relevancy.
    • Skill in creating researched information into a new understanding and innovative product.
    • Skill in applying ethical use of information and media by citing sources appropriately.
    • Skill in practicing safe, legal, and responsible when using technology and resources as defined by our school district’s procedures.

    How we will accomplish the process 


    The following is an overview of the activities.

    • Each student will take the online pretest in canvas. 
    • Each student will be given a topic for research.
    • Each student will be given a worksheet to use in identifying and defending effective subject, key words, phrases, and advanced search strategies when conducting information searches.
    • Each student will use an online research resource (database or e-Book) to locate general information on the topic.
    • Each student will print out an Internet evaluation worksheet to be used in selected search engine activities.
    • Each student will download, email, and/or print articles in order to experience a variety of methods of saving research materials.
    • Each student will correctly cite the sources.
    • Each student will submit the complete packet of worksheets, articles and evaluations to the classroom instructor (aka, the librarian).
    • Each student will take the online post-test in canvas.
    • Each student will take research materials to create a final project for the teacher.

    research resources    

    Research Resources we will use 

    Online subscription services, known as databases, are located on the MdN LRTC (library) Homepage.  

    These databases can always be accessed on campus, but at home, you must have a password since these are purchased for our students’ use only.  Get a bookmark at the library for home access.  Each database is purchased for a different research purpose.
    • Gale Cengage Learning:  Multiple databases containing thousands of curriculum-targeted primary documents, biographies, topical essays and viewpoints, background information, critical analyses, full-text coverage of hundreds of magazines, thousands of photographs and illustrations, and hours of audio and video clips
    • WorldBook Online:  An online encyclopedia, which offers information, graphics, timelines, and links to other web information.
    • Ebscohost:  Multiple databases with magazines, newspapers, points or view, biographies, science, literary references, and more.  (It’s the other competition to Gale products.)
    • SIRS ProQuest:  Multiple databases which covers the leading controversial issues most studies and debated by students along with excellent historical and governmental issues. This database also host The Arizona Republic newspaper for local information.
    • Culturegrams:  This gives an in-depth view of all countries around the world with a cultural aspect.
    • CQ Researcher:  Current and controversial issues, created for congress, are published in 25-30 page pamphlet format.
    • ABC Clio:  Specific titles include hot topic issues, genocide, and popular culture.
    • JSTOR:  College-level materials over science, literature, and more.  Many of these are primary sources.
     search engine  Search engine links

    • Google is the world’s most used search engine, but this assignment will require you to try a search engine rarely used by you.  (This one is not allowed in this assignment.)
    • Ask is a search engine that originally used natural language in the form of questions.
    • Yahoo finds and organizes the answers you need so you can make faster, more informed decisions and is the second most popular search engine.
    • Entireweb is a meta-search engine, that is it returns all the best results from leading search engines including Google, Yahoo!, Bing and Ask.
    • Bing is Microsoft's search engine, which strives to rivals Google.  Some like to use it because it provides Bing rewards as an incentive.
    • DuckDuckGo is a search engine that doesn’t track you, helping you to avoid the perhaps you might like this other site.


    Your teacher's assignment


    Once you have completed all seven activities, you should be able to put all the parts together.  You are competent in developing a search strategy and in understanding how the various resources work.  You should also be able to evaluate the resources/information that you have found.  Now you have the opportunity to demonstrate what you have learned.

    Your classroom instructor will determine your final project. 


    Now you know a lot more about the resources available to you.  No more guesswork when searching for information.  You should be proud of yourselves!  You can use what you've learned to quickly and efficiently locate and evaluate information for any of your school and personal needs. Are there other sites to still be explored?  Absolutely!  You will have many opportunities in other classes to continue this process.  Remember learning never stops and INFORMATION IS POWER! 



    You are ready to begin Activity 1:  Subject Searching