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Class Plan -- Unit Three, Day 22

Assignment for Day 23

Reading - PHG, 513-43 (Research), 543-49 (Source Evaluation);

Research - Attend Research Conference (if your group's is scheduled between now and Thursday); Begin researching the issue you chose today (doing library and internet searches), and decide whether or not you want to stick with that issue as your research topic; Begin drafting your annotated bibliography by doing entries (in alphabetical order in a computer file) for any relevant, useful sources you find. (Remember that you have detailed guidelines to help you write your entries.) IF IT'S POSSIBLE IN YOUR CLASSROOM, YOU MIGHT HAVE YOUR STUDENTS ARRANGE THEIR DESKS IN A CIRCLE TODAY, SO THAT THEY DON'T HAVE TO GO TO THE FRONT OF THE ROOM TO DO THEIR REPORTS. Activities: Daily. In the article you found for today, what is the specific issue that is being discussed? Skim the article again quickly and see if you can find the claim (the thesis; the most clear articulation of the author's position). When you find it, underline it.

Individual Reports. Before you have students talk about the articles they found for today, be sure to remind them that they only need to give a brief (2-minutes or so) report. This would also be a good opportunity to ask one of your students to act as "scribe" and record all of the different issues that come up in the reports. Also tell students that they should pay attention and take notes on anything that interests them, since they will be asked to choose a possible research topic at the end of these reports. Finally, encourage them to ask questions of one another.

Ask your students to report the following information:

Review list of issues on the board. Ask students if there are any other relevant issues they ran into in their research that are not included on the board. [IT MIGHT BE A GOOD IDEA FOR YOU TO COME TO CLASS WITH A LIST OF POSSIBLE ISSUES YOU HAVE THOUGHT OF, SO THAT YOU CAN FILL IN THE BLANKS AND PROVIDE STUDENTS WITH OTHER OPTIONS THEY HAVEN'T COVERED.] Discuss the list of issues on the board. Which ones seem most "researchable"? In other words, for which issues/topics are there likely to be a good number of articles written? Which ones (if any) seem like they might not be very debatable or might not lend themselves to argument/research very well? At the end of this discussion, ask students to take a couple of minutes to make a tentative decision about what issue they would like to research, then write this down on a piece of paper and hand it in to you. Explain that you are having them make this choice so that you can put them into research groups with people who will be working on the same (or similar) issue, but that they can still change their minds about their topics in the coming week.

Collect articles. Ask students to hand in their articles. Ask them to make sure they have written all of the important bibliographic information about where the article came from on the front. Then ask them to write their names on their articles and to pass them up. Tell them that you will be putting this set of articles on reserve right after class. Explain to them how they use the reserve desk at the library, and tell them that this would be an excellent way to get started on their research, particularly if any of the reports given today on their issue interested them. Daily Briefly describe the steps you take when you have to do research. What assignments have you had in the past that required research? What is the best source of information you have ever found in your past research? Have you used Morgan Library? If so, what have your experiences been like? [WHILE STUDENTS ARE WRITING THEIR DAILIES, ARRANGE THE RESEARCH GROUPS ACCORDING TO SHARED OR SIMILAR TOPICS, ON THE BASIS OF THE CHOICES THEY WROTE DOWN AFTER THE PRESENTATIONS. YOU COULD WRITE THIS LIST OF RESEARCH GROUPS ON AN OH TRANSPARENCY IN ORDER TO PRESENT IT TO THE CLASS.]

Organize research groups. [YOU WILL NEED TO COME TO CLASS WITH A SCHEDULE OF AVAILABLE CONFERENCE TIMES--A SIGN-UP SHEET.] Put students in groups and have them quickly (10 minutes or less) sign up for a research conference slot (45 minutes - an hour per group) that is convenient for the whole group. Tell them where in the library you will meet them. [I usually tell them I'll be waiting just inside the front doors, where the study tables are, but that the group will be heading directly over to the computer area of the library.] Discuss strategies for conducting and organizing research. List student responses (particularly regarding useful research methods) on the board. Move the discussion into ideas about how to deal with some of the difficulties of doing research in Morgan library post-flood (particularly the fact that most bound periodicals were destroyed, along with full collections of books in certain disciplines): local libraries like UW, UNC, and CU-Boulder (and how to search them from your own computer through the library home page), full text databases (many of which your students have dabbled with already in earlier assignments), the Internet [be sure to discuss some of the dangers of doing Internet research-- commercial sites, problem of authorship, etc.], Uncover, and [STRESS THIS ONE] Interlibrary Loan, which is currently very quick. Students can usually get articles via ILL within a week. [RETURN TO THE DISCUSSION ABOUT THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY IF YOU DID NOT COVER THIS ADEQUATELY LAST TIME.]