Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Researching Russia

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
Today we will practice two specific tasks:
  • Researching using the Big 6 method
  • Citing and annotating a source
You will complete today's activity in an MS Word document. Save the Word document to the "Y:\Ramin World Geography\Period ____\Russia Research" folder. Save the assignment as "Your Last Name - Russia."

Today's research assignment is worth 30 points.

The Big 6
Step 1: Task Definition. When conducting research, you must first identify your task. In some papers, you will decide what your purpose is. For this paper, I will define it. You must choose a topic related to modern Russia to research. You will write a 5 paragraph paper on this topic. 

Some potential topics:
  • Russia's transition from a communist government to a democratic one
  • Russia's government in comparison to the U.S. government
  • Russia's transition from a command to free market economy
  • Social issues in Russia compared with social issues in the United States
  • The Russian space program compared with the U.S. space program
  • Russia's culture and America's culture
Step 2: Information Seeking Strategies. Here's the part of your research where you make a list of potential sources. Again, for this portion of our project, use my list.
Step 3: Location and Access. Choose your source. Take a look at it, and examine its contents. Think about the following guiding questions when choosing your source:

  • How is the information in the source organized?
    • Helpful Hint: Every source has its own system of organization. Check out the way each one is organized when you start using it. Look for the index and table of contents. Ask me for help if you can't find these things! Through practice like we're doing today, you'll learn to use a wide range of sources.
    • Is the source in alphabetical order like a dictionary or encyclopedia?
    • Is there an index you can use to find pages you need?
    • Is there a search bar on the site?
  • How will I know what to look for in sources?
    • Make a list of key words and phrases related to your topic. This is what you will use to search the website using the site's search bar.
    • Helpful Hint: Don't type questions into search bars -- the Internet is not as smart as you are! You have to type in short, specific terms or phrases to get any results.
    • Never start a search with common words like "the" and "a." The website will search for these first, and you will not get the results you want.
    • When searching for a phrase, type it in quotations. This will search for the whole phrase, not just the individual words.
Part 4: Use of Information. This is where you finished during yesterday's class. In Part 4, you cite and annotate your source. Then, you begin taking notes on the source.

Think about the following when doing Part 4: 
  • Is the information complex enough for me? Or is it too superficial?
  • Does the information give me answers to your questions?
  • Does the information give you new ideas, or lead you to other sources?
  • Is the information too scientific or technical for my project's requirements?
  • Does the information in the source help me complete my task?
  • Does the information in the source give me additional ideas that could help me create or add to my thesis?
If your source fulfills these questions, you are ready to extract information from it. Do the following in your Word document:
  • Citing Your Source
    • In your Word document, cite your source following the format used in last week's class. You can review the citation format on the Purdue Owl Website.
  • Creating Your Annotation
    • Follow the same format from last week's class to annotate your source. Again, you can find help on the Purdue Owl Website.
  • Take Notes on your source. Take approximately 1 page (typed) notes on your source. Include the following in your notes:
    • An outline format -- you can ask me or your neighbor if you don't know how to do this in Word.
    • A title for this source
    • Key terms, phrases, people, dates, etc.
    • Anything else you find relevant!
Once you've completed ALL of this, you're ready to move on to your next source. For your second source, you will find a current event using one of the following newspapers:
Complete the same steps you did for your first source to access your second source.

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