English II - Unit 3: Research: A Process?

A research project, whether it is a traditional paper, a video, or an oral presentation, is the end product of a thinking process that involves student-centered questioning or inquiry.

Research is a life skill. We are always seeking information. What car or bike should I buy? Which college should I choose? Which book should I read next? How can I sell this idea to my boss? How can I convince the school board to act on my proposal? Should I have this surgery? Our ability to use information helps us reach conclusions, make decisions, and communicate more effectively.

Just as the careful bicycle buyer may "research" Consumer Reports and ask friends for comments about which model is the best, the careful student researches a topic in the process of thinking through his or her project. It is important to triangulate information by checking a variety of sources. The bike buyer may consult as many different, reliable sources as possible, makes notes, asks questions, consults additional sources, develops a point of view based upon all of the information he has found. As students gather information to reach a conclusion or support a hypothesis, they develop lifelong skills of information fluency.

Information fluency is the ability to access, evaluate, use and synthesize information from multiple formats, and to ethically create and share new knowledge in any of a variety of media. Information fluency is a set of competencies, skills that will grow with students, even when current operating systems, search tools, or platforms are obsolete. Information problem solving skills are required across all disciplines.

The research process and the writing process are connected. Research is of little value unless you can effectively communicate your new knowledge. The same skills that you use to write an expository paper are used to develop the research paper or a project in any medium. The research process is recursive. Although we describe steps, you will find yourself going back and forth among the steps, returning to several as you refine your work. (Joyce Valenza, http://sdst.libguides.com/researchtools)


  1. What is the assignment requirements?
  2. What are the due dates? Where am I posting these dates? (Google Calendar? Planner?)
  3. Easy Bib-Create a Project (you will be using this to create a list of your sources called a Bibliography)
  4. EII-English II Academy Topics (a Google Doc of suggested reseach questions / topics)


  1. Pick a topic/question of interest (see list of recommended questions/topics).
  2. Develop a list of terms/keywords
  3. Try the keywords using the catalog (Destiny>WebPath Express)


  1. Try a BASIC search using your "main term".
  2. ADVANCED SEARCHES or POWER SEARCH (Destiny Catalog) allows you to combine terms to narrow your topic.
  • Catalog: Destiny Catalog (East or West)
    • Basic or Power SearchCatalog_power search.jpg
    • Keywords vs. Subject Terms
    • Books and Websites
  • Citation Tool: Easy Bib: Log on using your Google Acct
  • Databases (subscription Databases)


  • Evaluate Sources



  • See your Easy Bib Project Bibliography
  • Annotate the sources in your bibliography.


  • Boolean operator – Connecting words, such as AND, OR, or NOT that are used in a Boolean search.