Doing school research on the Internet

Tutorial developed at Red Mesa High School, Tee Nos Pos, Arizona (Navajo Reservation)

Based on: Lindsey, Marti (2000) A Constructivist Study of Developing Curriculum to Teach Internet Information Literacy to Navajo High School Students

Marti's Home Page

Touch the balloons below to link within this page to the information you want to know more about.
All the materials mentioned in this tutorial are available in the library. They include floppy disks, portfolios, both Netscape and Explorer, and print versions of all forms mentioned.
A Good JobSkills you needGet started Be organized Topics 
OutlinesReference listsSearch EnginesElectronic Resources 

Have your ever felt like this when you were given an assignment that required doing research with the Internet?*

Don't get mad at the computer.
There are ways to get the information you need
for your assignment from the computer.
They are knowing what a good project consists of,
E sheets, Search Engines, Search Terms, RMHS resources,
understanding the assignment, topic selection,
KWL E sheets, Information Collection E sheets,
Browsing, Exploring, Collecting,
Inspiration and outlines,
and evaluating your own research process.
Once you learn them you will enjoy doing research on the Internet
and with electronic resources.
Hopefully this tutorial will make it easier to
use the computers in the school to do your work!
* the speed of the Internet is much improved with our satellite uplink and downlink. We'll have a lot less frustration with the greater speed.

Elements of a good presentation of the information you locate


Skills to develop

E sheets
    Making E sheets is one of the essential skills needed for searching on the Internet. They are electronic note taking sheets for:
1.    Keeping track of URLs you think may be interesting to return to and
2.    Keeping notes from web sites that will be useful for your presentation
       of information located during your search.

    You make an E sheet by opening a word processing document. You can make a list of useful web sites by copying URLs (Web addresses) from the "Location:" bar onto an E sheet. Be sure to save your list frequently so you can keep track of interesting sites.
    Note taking E sheets are also word processing documents that can contain both your own notes and copies of information from the web sites you locate on the Internet. E sheets keep your information organized and easy to access.


Using Internet Search Engines
    The second essential skill for finding useful information on the Internet is using powerful search engines. There are many search engines to use and you should use them all to find the one that will point you to the best Internet references for your topic. The best searchers use at least three each time they look for information.

Developing Search Terms
    The trick to a good search is the Search Terms you use. It is best to make an E sheet with as many words as you can think of regarding your topic. Brainstorm with your classmates to think up words that describe the information you want to find. Also, locate synonyms by using a thesaurus.  Another way to figure out some search terms to try is to do word associations either with the teacher or your classmates.

Good Tools to use as you start your search

Red Mesa Schools Dictionary & Thesaurus

Links to a variety of search engines


Electronic resources in the
Red Mesa High School Library
You can connect to these resources by icons on the desktops
Issues & Controversies Today's Science  Electric Library Bookshelf  World Guide 1999

The 8 stages of research
Browse to get started
  • Make sure you understand the assignment by writing it in your own words. Save this as an E sheet. 
  • Make an Information E sheet for General Information. Save it to your floppy disk.
  • Make Search Term E sheet and develop as many search terms as possible.
  • Use Internet and Electronic Encyclopedias to located general information about your topic. 
  • There are many good links from the Red Mesa web site. These include:
Picking a Topic
  • Decide what you already know and what you want to know to complete the assignment. Write these down on a KWL  E sheet. You can find one in the student work folder or by linking to one that can be printed off from this web page.
  • Make URL Information Collection E sheet. One can be found in the student work folder on the desktop. Save this to a floppy disk. 
  • Use Search Engines to locate useful web sites. 
  • Add all URLs to information collection   E sheet
  • Choose a topic that interests you and meets the requirements of the assignment.
Explore for Information
  • Use multiple Search Engines to locate as much information as possible. 
  • Decide on the sub topics by asking yourself who, what, where, when, why and how questions. 
  • Print off useful material and keep notes on E sheets for each sub topic. Keep print outs in a portfolio.
  • Keep adding URLs to the Information Collection E sheet 
Find the details
  • Keep E sheet notes for each sub topic. 
  • Evaluate the information to determine what aspect of the topic 
  •         is the most interesting to you and 
  •         you have the best and most information
  •         about. 
  • Choose the focus of the rest of your work based on your interest and information.
  • Continue to keep URLs on the information collection E sheet. 
Prepare an outline
  • Using the Inspiration software on the computer develop a graphic organizer that shows the topic, the sub topics and the interesting information you have found. 
  •        You can do this by reviewing the work you have done to this point.
  •         Look back at your KWL E sheet. Determine if you have found the information you wanted to learn. In the third column list what you have learned about your topic and sub topics.
  •       Look back over all the E sheets you have kept about the topic and sub topics.
  • Be sure to include all your interesting information in the Inspiration.
  • Once you have completed the graphic you can turn it into an outline.
  • Be sure to save the Inspiration to your disk.
Collect the information
  • From your Inspiration and KWL sheet you will be able to tell if you need to gather any more information to complete your presentation. 
  • Continue looking for interesting information about your topic and the focus of your assignment.
  • From the URLs you have gathered on your information collection E sheet you can begin to create your reference list.
Present your findings
  • Add any new information you have located to your Inspiration. 
  • Copy the outline from the Inspiration and paste it into the word processer. 
  • Now you can write your paper or speech.
  • Be sure to include visuals that support your ideas and show your interesting information.
Grade yourself Now it is time to discover how you can do better research the next time you get assigned a project. 
Answer these questions for yourself: 
  • Did I choose a topic that was interesting?
  • Did I use at least three search engines?
  • What other search terms could I have used?
  • Did I find information that matched the assignment and was interesting?
  • What will I do the same next time?
  • What will I do differently next time?
Browsing on the Internet is like going in the door...of the library and looking around for the various web sites you can use to locate information about your topic. You are trying to determine if you can find enough information to complete your assignment well. Check back with your KWL sheet and Search Term E sheet to decide what information to look for. Good resources for browsing are found on the Red Mesa web site.
Also there are several digital resources available to Red Mesa students.
Exploring for information is locating information that tells you details 
about your topic. It involves checking out many web sites to find the ones that have the best information that will help you complete your assignment. Think carefully about the information you find and be critical about the information you choose to share in your presentation. Ask yourself if you have found information that informs you about the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the topic. Use at least three search engines to locate the information you need to complete the assignment.
Collecting information is making sure that you have information about
all the aspects of your topic.  It also involves keeping track of the titles, authors, responsible authorities (publishers) and dates of publication of all information you are going to use in your presentation. Also, note the date you accessed the information on the internet as web pages are updated and changed often. Use this link to access a printable form for keeping the information about each reference. It can be used as a E sheet and printed.

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