Most college students know how to jump on Google and find a website, article, or video about a particular topic; however, recent research by Project information Literacy suggests that a large percentage of students have several major problems with research including getting started, evaluating sources, and getting help. In addition, students that participated in this same study used very few Web 2.0 tools to help them with their research.
Problems like the ones above can cause students a lot of stress and can lead to plagiarism or failure. Luckily, students have access to a wealth of free, easy to use resources including web applications, librarians, and tutors. These resources can help you get an A on your Persuasive Essay!
Goals and Objectives
As a college student, you'll be expected to find, evaluate, and organize information in almost every class that you take. The goal of this module is to introduce you to 21st century research techniques and to help you acquire basic skills for doing quality research in your academic, professional, and personal life.
Upon completing the Persuasive Essay Skillshop, you will be able to:
- evaluate your current level of research skill
- use mindmaps to organize your research
- find and evaluate sources
- identify logical fallacies
- use chat to get research help
Your Lesson and Assignment
Each section below contains a mini-lesson on the topic. Go through the mini lessons and do the tasks or answer the questions listed in each section. Remember: The main purpose of this assignment is to help YOU get an A on your Persuasive Essay!
1) Assessing Your Research Knowledge
Think you're a master researcher? Take this short quiz and find out! When you get done, respond to these questions:
- How did you do?
- Were you suprised by your results?
2) Getting Started
Mind maps are a fantastic way to choose a topic and get started organizing your ideas! Watch the video below to learn about making mind maps with Popplet. When you get done, create your own tiny Popplet with at least 3 boxes. Make sure to click Share and copy and paste the url so that your professor can visit your Popplet.
3) Finding Sources in GALILEO
For your Persuasive essay, you have to use sources from GALILEO. Watch the video below to learn how to search 2 great databases: Academic Search Complete and Issues and Controversies. Then visit GALILEO and find an article on your topic in the Academic Search Complete database. Copy and paste the MLA citation for this article onto your answer sheet.
4) Evaluating Sources
Now that you know how to find sources in GALILEO, you need to know how to evaluate them. Even though everything on GALILEO is considered credible, some sources are better than others. To learn about evaluating sources, check out the Prezi below. Then evaluate the same article that you used in step 3 to answer these questions:
- Is the author an expert on this subject?
- How old is the article - and does this matter for your subject?
- Why did the author write this article? Was the author trying to educate, entertain, or persuade?
- Is there a bibliography/works cited page? Did the author use high quality sources?
5) Identifying Logical Fallacies
You read about logical fallacies earlier in your class module. Now it’s time to try your hand at identifying them in real life! First, watch the video on the left and then check out the video on the right. Can you identifying any logical fallacies in the cigarrette commercial?
6) Learning to Cite
Now you're going to visit the Online Writing Lab at Perdue (OWL) to learn about citting GALILEO! "Why do I need to do this", you may ask," since GALILEO cites sources for me?" Well, even though many GALILEO databases generate a citation for you, not all of them have this ability. In addition, GALILEO citations are sometimes incorrectly formatted. For this part of the assignment:
- Visit the OWL MLA Guide: Electronic Sources
- Scroll down until you see the section called "An Article from an Online Database". Using the second example in this section as a model, create an MLA citation using the following information:
Author: Bertha Bean
Article Title: The Magical Fruit
Publication: Legume Lessons
Date Published: January 5th, 1467
Database: Food and Drink Complete
Date Retrieved: November 6th, 2011
7) Getting Help
Did you know that you can get help from Librarians without even stepping foot in the Library with Ask-A-Librarian? Click the Chat Box below to go to the page and explore. If a Librarian is on, try talking to them with the chat box to the left. If not, try typing a question into the search box at the top of the screen to see questions and answers in the FAQ. What do you think about this service? Will you use it in the future?
For More Help:
Skillshop Concept: 2010 Libby Gore; Current Design and Content: 2011 Sarah Hepler