How to Begin the Culminating Project
Make sure the research question and paper that interests you ties to a project that you will complete later.
Paper= Why has there been so much snow in the valleys in Clearwater County this winter and less than average snow pack in the mountains?
Project= Help fight forest fires in the summer that are caused by less than average snow pack.
Look at the following videos to help you come up with a research question & project.
Select something you will enjoy as you will be studying it for about a year and then presenting the paper and project to about 5 adults and 25 students.
Outlining from Notecards
The following resources will help you with your research paper.
Eight Steps to Effective Library Research
These steps outline a simple and effective strategy for finding information for your research paper and documenting the sources you find. Depending on your topic and your familiarity with the library, you may need to rearrange or recycle these steps. Adapt this outline to your needs. We are ready to help you at every step in your research.
Identify and Develop Your Topic- Think of a question that interests you long term for a year, that you care about immensely, broaden or narrow as needed, consider what project might connect with your research question
Cite What You Find- this comes at the beginning so you can always find your sources (the materials you are using in your research whether it be a person, book, video, online magazine, blog, dictionary definition, etc.) Use BibMe or NoodleTools. Be sure to include the URL for the Internet which is now required.
Find the Context: Background Information on Your Topic- Look up your question and search terms in Wikipedia, Google and Lili.org to start with...
Evaluate What You Find- this involves taking good notes in the first place along with knowing the difference between good, better and blatantly “false news”
Find Books- in the school library and order them on Valnet or possibly elsewhere
Find Articles in Journals, News Sources, Magazines- Use Lili.org for this, but also remember local newspapers that are available online with a password from the library and also the print magazines in the back of the library by the windows. Also find people as sources.
Find Video and Sound Recordings- Don’t forget YouTube, Vimeo and the video option on Google. Also podcasts and radio transcripts can be useful.
Organize What You Find- This time take all your note cards and arrange them by topics, if there is a stray card consider finding more information on the topic or not using the card at all. See how many topics there are and use those topics to create an outline in a logical order. Each topic is probably its own paragraph or page.