Doing school research on the Internet
Tutorial developed at Red Mesa High School, Tee Nos Pos, Arizona (Navajo
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
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
understanding the assignment, topic
KWL E sheets, Information
Collection E sheets,
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
Skills to develop
Making E sheets is one of the essential
skills needed for searching on the Internet. They are electronic note taking
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
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
|| Electric Library
|| World Guide 1999
stages of research
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.
|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
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
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
|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
you have the best and most information
Choose the focus of the rest of your work based on your interest and
- Continue to keep URLs on the information collection
|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
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
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
||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?
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
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
Marti's Home Page
RMHS Library Information Page