Outline for Research Activity Day One Choose a topic. Write out a dictionary definition for the topic. Indicate the name of the dictionary you used and the page number. Make a web of what you know about the topic. Write down at least three subject specific vocabulary words that you know of at this point. Brainstorm some questions that you have about this topic. These questions can help focus you if your topic is very broad. Day Two Research the topic using books, Internet sites, videos, magazines, interviews, etc. Make a list of facts about your topic from your resources. List the resources you used. (see bibliographic format included at the end of the outline) Watch for vocabulary words that are specific to your topic and list them as well. (Caution: Don’t allow this to become too long and arduous!) Day Three Make a web of what you know about your topic, now that you have done some research. Fill in an outline: Opening Statement – One big sentence about the topic. Two or more supporting details with specific examples. Closing Statement to “tie the bow”. Write down at least 6 new vocabulary words that are specific to your topic that you learned since doing your research. (Refer to Day 2) Look at these words and see if there is any way that you can use these words in your writing. Using your outline, write a rough draft. Day Four Edit your rough draft. 1. Correct spelling Check common words list. Sound out other words carefully. Use a dictionary if needed. 2. Check punctuation Capital letters at the start of sentences Punctuation at the end of sentences. 3. Have someone else proofread. Plan and decide how you want the end product to look. List ideas for graphics such as pictures, drawings, photos, graphs, fancy type, etc. Use a blank page to draft out graphic ideas. Where do you want to put the writing? Remember to consider your title page. Day Five If using a computer: 1. Type your written work out. 2. Spellcheck and correct. 3. Decide on your use of graphics. 4. Arrange the format. 5. Print out. 6. Check your printout and redo if necessary. 7. Add the graphics. (Glue the pictures in place etc.) 8. Create a Title Page. Make certain you include the following: A title Your name Date completed 9. Bind your completed work for presentation. You can find out many different methods of binding your report through the local stationers or books from the library. There are a variety of inexpensive ways. Day Five cont. If not using a computer: 1. Take several pages of paper (however many you will need). 2. Arrange your graphics as you would like them on the pages . Lift and draw a box lightly in pencil to indicate where they will be. 3. Before writing your report out in final draft, have someone else proofread your writing. Make any other changes you would like to. 4. Write your report in final copy. 5. Glue the graphics in place. 6. Create a title page including: A title Your name Date report completed 7. Bind your completed work for presentation. You can find out many different methods of binding your report through the local stationers or books from the library. There are a variety of inexpensive ways. Feel proud of your accomplishment and share it with someone! After a week, look at your project again and reflect on the process. 1. If you were to do it again, would you take a different focus? 2. After doing the paper, did you think of more questions on the topic? 3. Since doing the research, did you notice anything that has come up in conversation or in the news etc, about the topic you researched? Have you heard the new vocabulary you learned being used elsewhere? You may want to do this as a weekly project or spread it out over two weeks. It is a wonderful way to learn skills in doing research, note taking, report writing, editing and revising, as well as learning about different topics of interest! By doing it in one week or two weeks, the project does not become unwieldy and overwhelming. If you are still interested in learning more about the same topic you may want to do another research paper or project on it but with a different focus. This can be adjusted to any grade level. Feel free to change the format or timing to suit your needs. Have fun with it!! Bibliographic Format Books -Author’s last name, author’s first name. Title (underlined). City where the book is published: Publisher, copyright date. Paulsen, Gary. Puppies, Dogs, and Blue Northers: Reflections on Being Raised by a Pack of Sled Dogs. New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, 1996. Magazines - Author’s last name, author’s first name. “Title of the article” (in quotation marks). Title of magazine (underlined). Date (day month year): Page numbers of the article. Rinard, Judith E, “Go, Team, Go!” National Geographic World. December 1996: 2-5. Encyclopedias - “Article title” (in quotation marks). Title of the reference book (underlined). Edition. Date published. “Dog Sledding”. Canadian Encyclopedia. 2nd ed. 1988. Films, Slides, Videotapes - Title (underlined). Medium (film, videocassette, etc.). Production company, date. Time length. Quimmiq: Canada’s Arctic Dog. Videocassette. National Film Board, 1979. 24 min. Interviews - Author’s last name, author’s first name. Type of interview. Date (day month year). Klein, Adrian. Personal interview. 20 January 1997. Internet - Internet address and date information was found. www.nunavut.com, January 20, 1999. Resource: Kemper, Dave, Nathan, Ruth, & Sebranek, Patrick. Writer’s Express. Ontario: Nelson, 1998.
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