Friday, September 28

Day 17 (Friday, September 28)

Lesson Objectives
Students will

Connection to Course Goals
Today, students plan out how they will look at the whole conversation about their subject.

Connection to Students’ Own Writing
During today’s class groups will negotiate research strategies that will lead them to sources they may use in their explanations and their arguments.


Ask students to give their homework to the group member about whom they wrote.  Each student should read the summary of their own interests, opinions, and frames of reference.  If they feel there is something to add, they may note it on the back of the summary.  Also if they feel they have been misrepresented, they may discuss that with their group.  You might ask one person from each group to hold on to the summaries so that the group has access to them as they draft the explanation.

Now that groups have had time to share their opinions and learn about each other, groups can begin to research.  Because inquiry means to open-mindedly look for answers, it’s important to set aside opinions for the time being to be able to inquire.   It’s important, then, that as groups research they aim to listen to the whole conversation.  They need to be finding what different kinds of people say.  

Ask groups to read over a description of one of the colleges at CSU (Agricultural Sciences, Applied Human Sciences, Business, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Natural Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, and Natural Resources; you can access descriptions of each of these colleges, which include descriptions of majors, at  Provide instructions on the overhead such as:

Read a description of one of the Colleges at CSU.

As a group, discuss the ways in which scholars in this College would be interested in your subject.  Also, discuss the ways in which they would be interested in other groups’ subjects:

On an overhead transparency, list one or two questions scholars in the College might ask about each subject.

Prepare to present your group’s work by:
            1) Summarizing the College you read about
            2) Presenting your overhead transparency

Next, demonstrate how this information can help plan out an inquiry by using an example:

Inquiry question: “Does fast food advertising work?”

Interested disciplines: Psychology, business, marketing, food science

Related questions: What kinds of advertisements feature fast food?  What do marketers do to sell food?  What are the economic risks and benefits to businesses when they advertise?  How do fast food advertisements affect viewers?  Who pays for fast food advertising?  (etc.)

Search terms: fast food, advertising, marketing, commercials, convenience foods

Give groups time to plan their inquiry using this heuristic. Once groups have compared ideas about all of the above, they can designate responsibility (perhaps each student will research the inquiry question from a different perspective, or perhaps groups will divide up the related questions).

Part of students’ homework will be to find one source, which they will most likely do through google.  Explain three basic criteria for a source for this project: relevance, reliability, and currency.  The source needs to help answer the inquiry question, it needs to come from a credible author or organization, and it needs to be current enough that its contents still matter.  In addition, the source needs to be useable in an academic paper (therefore, no Wikipedia).

Revisit the assignment sheet and the annotated bibliography sample to remind students of what they should do once they have found the source (they should read it closely to write the summary and they should read it critically to write the evaluation and the response).  Tell students that you will collect bibliography entries next time to provide feedback.

Wrap up class as usual, reminding students to meet in the library next time.

Read pages 611-623 and 630-642 about research processes and strategies.

Complete the research log tutorial on the library's web site.

Find one source that can help your group answer your inquiry question.  As you search, remember the criteria we discussed in class: reliability, relevance, and currency. Keep track of your search using the research log. Bring your log-in-progress to class.

Read the source you find closely and critically. 

Write a bibliography entry for the source.  Bring the source and your annotated bibliography entry to class on Monday.  Use pages 658-665 in your textbook as you write the MLA bibliography entry.

Please remember to meet in the library on Monday.