Why 4-6 pages? • Length is required for valid synthesis • Length is required for development of ideas • For the kinds of topics that you have you must be able to explain • Writing to the required length does not guarantee you a passing grade—why not? • Writing over the requirement does not guarantee you a passing grade—why not? • Can you do everything I ask in less than 4 pages? No. You can’t. You will not have followed instructions if it is less than 4 pages.
How long do we have to complete this? • About a month. We start now and due dates begin on November 30. • We do A LOT in class, but like any project you do have to do some work at home too. Keep in mind that it is a self directed project.
Finding sources • Once you have established a specific interest, you should do some preliminary research to see if there are enough authentic sources available. • To do this, you should go to the West Forsyth’s Library Homepage. • Then click on the “Library Resource Center” link on the left hand side of the page
You can use most of these sources. They can be effective. Start in the resource center • You may find some useful things in the opposing viewpoints • PW: clem79777
Try the search bar first; use good search terms • Literary time period • Author’s name • Literary trends in the time period • I DO NOT SUGGEST searching the EQ.
Notice the drop box as you search—it can be very useful in locating good sources
There is a lot to discover on this page! • Notice the sidebar • Notice the scrolling options
Don’t overlook the usefulness of the sidebars after you click on an article
Another useful site is NCWiseowl • PW: Wiseowl
Click on “High School Zone” Click on “High School Zone”
There are a lot of cool resources here Click on “Careers” first
Magazines, newspapers, books and encyclopedias are all print resources You can limit the results here too You can also narrow the results and find new keywords/specific interests
What is an authentic source? • “Authentic” means that the source is a reliable source of information, as free from bias as possible, and as accurate as possible.
How do I determine if a source is reliable? There a 6 main criteria you should use evaluate a source before deciding if it is authentic. Click on each one for more information • Source Information • Design • Help Documentation and Support • Performance • Maintenance • Audience
Source Info • Ask yourself questions about the Web Site’s information • Who is providing the information? • Check domain ownership. This tells you if the source is reliable. Who is look-up at Domain Toolshttp://www.domaintools.com/ • Read "about us" and author bios. Examine links to and from other Web sites. Discover the Source's Expertise • Is the source an expert or authority? • Examine credentials in author bios and "about us" pages. • Examine grammar and spelling. • Look for other publications by the author or publisher. • Determine the Level of Objectivity • Does the source provide a balanced viewpoint? • Examine the writing style. • Is it trying to influence your opinion? If so, it’s a good bet that it is biased. • Examine the advertising. Does it influence the content? • Lack of objectivity does not necessarily mean the source provides substandard information. A persuasive writer intends to win your favor. S/he might use good facts and analysis to do so. • Examples illustrating objectivity: Check out the differences(# 3 on your worksheet!!!!) • Cancer information at the National Cancer Institute (balanced) http://ihr.org/Not Just Another Scare (biased; undocumented claims) http://www.aspartamekills.com/blayart1.htm
Design • Refers to presentation, navigability, and overall ease of use. • Ask yourself questions like… • How does the site look? • Is it well-organized, easy to follow? If so, chances are it is more authentic. • Is the font-size legible? • If not, it is not very academic • Are colors and graphics distracting? • Professional websites should be clean and neat, not too flashy, but not messy either. • Are there a ton of advertisements? • If so, the site probably doesn’t have the academic nature you crave. .com sites are “commercial” and generally involve money transactions. .org is an organization and usually is biased toward one idea or another. .edu is educational and .gov is government.
Help documentation & Support • The web sit should have readily-accessible materials that explain how to use the site and its resources. • Ask yourself questions such as… • Does the site guide novice users (e.g., "new to the site?")? • Are help links available on every page? Are they easy to find? Does it suggest additional ways to find related information? • Is contact information available and easy to find?
Performance • Refers to the site stability and availability. • Ask questions such as… • Is there minimal down time? • Do the links works? • If not, it has not been updated often enough • How fast does it load? • When a site is slow to load, that can often mean it is bogged down by too much “flash” not enough “meat”
Maintenance • closely related to timeliness -- one of the basic five criteria, this refers to the regular revision of a site in order to keep links and information up to date. • Evaluators should consider clearly dated and labeled archival sites. • Search out Dates of revisions. If you can’t find one, that is NOT a good sign. • Search out an author or organization or institution or contributors. IF THERE IS NOT ONE, it usually is not very authentic.
Audience • Look for a target group, including age, language, reading ability, interests, etc. • Ask yourself questions like… • Is the site appropriate for younger audiences? • Does it target a certain group (e.g., doctors) or the general public? • What is the reading level?
So, what do you do with this Info? Create a checklist for yourself, and evaluate your sources BEFORE you use them! *REMEMBER* All Web sources must be validated by you and your teacher or media coordinator. Your teacher is more likely to OK it if you fill out an evaluation for the website, which (incidentally) helps with works cited information.
What questions do you have about the research process? Write them down for me to address on Thursday.