What we'll do today in class:
- Group presentations on readings
- Turning a topic into a research question
Connection to course goals: The group presentations help generate appropriate topics for our context and show the range of issues that exist within the topic of education. The discussions on research introduce a new skill that is necessary to effectively respond to the context of an academic argument.
- Prepare for group presentations.
- Have them get back together with their groups to prepare for their presentation.
- Remind them they should present:
- A brief summary of the essay's main points
- A list of 5-10 issues that you found in the essay that could serve as a focus for Essay 4.
- A brief reaction to the issues you found most interesting. Try to think of yourselves as trying to persuade people to write these issues. Perhaps think about why the author thinks this issue is especially important or interesting.
- You might have each group put a brief list of the main points and their list of issues on an OH so everyone can easily see and record the information the group presents.
- Your presentation should be about 5-7 minutes. I WILL STOP YOU AT 7 MINUTES.
- Group presentations.
- Have each group present.
- DO NOT LET THEM GO OVER 7-8 MINUTES.
- While they're presenting, you might keep track of the possible topics on the board or have a person from the group write their list on the board while someone else presents the main points from their essay.
- Also, it's not entirely crucial that they get every main point from an essay, but do make sure they're not missing major points or completely misrepresenting an essay.
Transition: We've spent the past two days looking at essays to discover the range of topics that exist within the overall field of education. For Tuesday you'll have to start focusing down to your own topic in order to begin researching, so now let's consider how to turn a topic into an effective research question.
- Discuss research questions
- Why start your research with a question?
- Part of academic research and argument is going in with as open a mind as possible
- The goal is to see all of the sides and evidence before deciding where you stand
- DON'T just go in knowing your answer to the question and finding evidence to support it.
- If you're going to do some research, what do you think makes an effective research question? What's going to help you find the information you're looking for?
- Research questions should be:
- Narrow (though if you're just starting your research, you might stay a bit broader and see how you can narrow as you discover more about the issue)
- Of personal interest
Transition: Once you have a research questions, you have to go out and research. Let's consider now what research entails, some of the concerns you have or problems you've run into in the past, and where you might look for sources.
- Discuss research
- Emphasize these reasons for researching. Why bother to research at all?
- Understand an issue and it's various sides
- Support your view
- Educate yourself
- Gain credibility
- Where and how to look
- Give them the Research Handout (APPENDIX) on where to look.
- You might ask students to either offer suggestions based on past experiences, or encourage them to keep track of their research so they can share helpful hints with classmates during the upcoming classes.
- You might also want to offer some suggestions on specifically how to search. Possible topics to cover:
- Types of searches (regular, Boolean, etc.)
- Use of keywords - importance of finding the "right" words
- Use of questions as search entries (actually entering their research question as their search
- Keeping track so you know what does and doesn't work.
- Keep track of bibliographic info (author, title, publisher, copyright date, pages, etc.) because you'll need it for a works cited page.
(NOTE: If you have time or can make time, it can be useful to schedule one class-meeting in the library. You can either run a library exercise on your own, or have one of the reference librarians run the class and explain the library's resources. In either case, plan well in advance and make sure to check with the library early to either schedule a librarian-led session or make sure you can bring your class in)
Find one article on the issue you're planning to research and argue about for the final essay
A list of any questions you have about research after finding this article
PHG, "Writing a Research Paper," p. 540-550
PHG, "Collecting" and "Internet Research," p. 555-569