Research

Research Databases

These databases can be accessed anywhere in your school or from home by asking your school librarian for the user name and password.

Database Trials

Below is the Database Trial schedule. For each month it includes a database for Elementary/Middle School and a database for High School. Prior to the trial period, Abigail will email everyone with the username and password info. If you would like to suggest other databases, extend a trial, or begin a subscription, please contact Abigail. Click on the database names below to redirect to the trial login during the trial period.

March

 ABDO Digital has two sets of databases; the first is for young learners and is called “Zoom.” Take a look at the Zoom products and you’ll see why they’re so appealing for your learners. A clear user interface, easy to find navigation buttons, and embedded video and audio make this a great tool for your youngest researchers. The “Zoom In” section gives students snapshots of their research topic and the “Play & Learn” section has a nice set of expansion activities. Zoom is available in 3 modules- Animals (available in both English and Spanish), Biographies, and STEAM topics. This is a great tool to introduce your students to research and database use without overwhelming them with too many topics or too much content. One of its great strengths is how easy it is to browse which makes finding a project topic so engaging and motivating.

ABDO also has a collection for middle school students with databases on Major League Baseball, National Football League, The 50 states, and the US presidents. For those of you who do yearly projects on the US states or presidents, this is a fantastic resource with abundant material that is intuitively organized  and includes an integrated hyperlinked glossary, interesting tidbits and quotes, and helpful background information. Sports fans will have a ball(!) exploring the MLB and NFL databases. For your reluctant researchers, these sports databases are a wonderful introduction to use of databases and the skills they learn will be easily transferable to other database content. (trial ends 4/1)

 

FactCite has set up a trail just in time for Women’s History Month including their Biographies for Beginners, World Biographies, and Shapers of Society. FactCite is a very affordable resource with excellent content. Their products have read aloud functionality, citation information integrated with NoodleTools, and the ability to share articles directly to Google Classroom. This Women’s History Month, have your students explore some of the less-known women- first ladies, women olympians, goddesses, and more! (trial ends 3/31)
 

InfoBase has an extremely valuable collection of articles on Women’s History in America, on topics such as Daily Life for Colonial Women, Women and the Vote, and Feminism. You’ll find related research topics, graphs, and primary sources, all easily found on the Women’s History page. Articles can be saved to a personal profile, shared on a Google Drive, cited, and read aloud. Browsing by tags will take you to content organized into articles, videos, and images so that you can have assemble a multimedia-rich project. Educator tools include the ability to search by standards and helpful guides for using primary sources, avoiding plagiarism, and more. This product is geared towards MS/HS students. (trial ends 3/31)

 

How to Research

Learning how to research increases critical thinking, helps prepare for higher education and the workforce, and drastically improves the overall quality of your work.

 

Research Guides
CRLS Research Guide Basic Steps in the Research Process
ipl2 for Teens A+ Research & Writing: Step by Step
Kentucky Virtual Library How to Do Research
Duke University Libraries Research Guide

Evaluating Your Sources

Not everything we find in print and electronic format are appropriate sources of information. Three examples that illustrate this point are:

 

1.) Inappropriate Types of Sources
If you were writing a paper about Mount Kilimanjaro, you would not cite an article about pitcher R. A. Dickey’s recent expedition in Sports Illustrated.
2.) Obsolete Information
A book published in 1980 about laser surgery will not provide you with sufficiently useful data on this procedure the way it is implemented today.
3.) Misleading or Amateur Authors
Some people think they are experts when in reality they are not qualified to publish certain materials. Other people purposely publish misleading and/or false information in the name of a political or other type of motivation.

How do we avoid using these improper sources? Train yourself to question everything you read, view and hear. Try exploring any of these links to see why and how you should be critical:
Purdue University Online Writing Lab Evaluating Sources: Overview
University of California Berkeley Library Critical Evaluation of Resources
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Writing Center Evaluating Print Sources
Cornell University Library Critically Analyzing Information Sources
University of Georgia Online Library Learning Center Unit 9: Evaluating Sources

Citing Your Sources

Citing your sources or references is of the utmost importance- how else can you prove that the information you are using is true?

 

The two main styles of citation used in schools are MLA and APA format. Typically, every school district only uses one of these two styles. Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) provides a wealth of information about both APA and MLA formatting:

APA Formatting and Style Guide
MLA Formatting and Style Guide
MLA Citation Basics, 7th Edition (.pdf)

Still a little confused about where that comma goes or what needs to be capitalized? Enlist the aid of these free online citation generators:
CiteLighter

Points of View

Biography Reference

Academic Research

Science Reference

Explora Primary

Explora Secondary

Primary Magazines

Middle Magazines

Business Guides

History Reference

Novelist K-8

Novelist

Literary Reference

Teacher Reference

Reference Latina

These resources are provided by the State Library of New Jersey to members of the BELS Consortium