Dr. John's Resources
"eazy-peazy guides to jumpstart your thinking"
RE-search means to look at something in a new way, from a different perspective, shaped by your wisdom and insights. I created Dr. John's Eazy-Peazy Resource: Research Skills to outline research skills.
Ask questions about something you want to know more about. These questions become the focus of your research, the central idea, the thesis. You investigate these questions and then report about what you have learned.
Frame your research topic in the form of questions or a hypotheses (theories about potential answers). Research questions may help direct and focus your research. Good research questions should be
Your skills in analysis, interpretation, and critique will help your research. Pay attention to the words you are reading. Interprete their meanings. Recognize the context, the situation that gives rise to those words, and hence, their importance to your research.
Good readers always ask the question, "What is the main idea of this text?" Writers plant clues and signals in their writing, readers respond to them in predictably and relatively uniform ways to create meaning from their reading. In reading for the main idea, watch for
This is a variation on Native American Medicine Wheels, a metaphor for the "stages" of research. Contemporary composition theory parallels include Linda Flower's stages of problem solving and Young, Becker & Pike's description of invention stages.
OVERVIEW, The East, The Eagle
The first stage is getting an overview of background material on the subject, standing back to take a good look. On the Medicine Wheel, the symbol for this is the East (the Eagle in the east represents clarity & illumination).
FOCUS, The South, The Coyote
The second stage is seeing how to put all the pieces together, symbolized by the coyote, the trickster. At the second stage of research, you, like the coyote, "play" with your data, run circles around it attempting to discover what to "do" with the material.
INTROSPECTION, The West, The Hibernating Bear
The third stage is the opposite of the eagle's sense of detachment. The West side of the Medicine Wheel is the place of introspection, represented by the hibernating bear...suggesting that, at this stage in research you think about where your research is going, what dreams and visions it creates for you and for your readers.
WISDOM, The North, The White Buffalo
The last stage is learning from what you have done. The white buffalo represents wisdom, collective knowledge, culture.
Research begins with a question about something you want to learn more about. Writing is a way of reporting what you have learned. Your research question is the focus of your writing, the central idea, the thesis. The purpose of research writing is to present answers to questions. This can be done in two ways
Citations show what you have derived from your reference sources and exactly where you found your information. They give credit to the people whose ideas you are using. Citations generally appear in two places in your essay
There are many citation styles. Follow the one required by your class, program, schooi, or job.
Veit, Richard, Christopher Gould, and John Clifford. Writing, Reading, and Research. New York: Macmillan, 1994.
I created Dr. John's Eazy-Peazy Resources to support my teaching and creative endeavors. I hope you will find them valuable and welcome your input. My contact information is below. Thanks for visiting!
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