Research @ City-As-School’s Library
CAS believes in giving students the agency to creatively solve a design problem & to follow an organic line of inquiry, based on engagement with their own experiences and their communities.
I am available to help CAS students to develop research questions, to fact check, synthesize, and cite sources for PBATs and LEAPs.
—Sara Lissa Paulson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
the INQUIRY process
- What interests you the most about your class or internship?
- Drown yourself in the topic!
What are the key players or experts saying about your topic? What questions do YOU have? Research is conversation.
- Use or adapt this helpful graphic organizer to organize your thinking.
- Look for patterns and relationships, cause and effect, changes over time, and how your topic affects different groups of people when you develop your thesis or hypothesis.
- Try the inverted triangle to develop your research question.
- Draft a working answer, your hypothesis or thesis. Warning: it might change as you learn more.
- Key words are crucial: Watch this presentation on creating effective key words.
- Types of Sources
- Primary sources are those made at the time of the event. All journal entries, interviews, and photographs or video that you take at your internships are primary sources. A science experiment that you conduct is a primary source. Primary sources for the COVID-19 pandemic include photos, news stories, and personal accounts from that time. Every today is history tomorrow.
- Secondary sources are what people write or film after the fact. Articles, books, and documentaries are secondary sources.
- FACT CHECK your sources by opening up another tab & ask, “Who is behind this information?” “What choices did this person make in presenting the information?”
- When taking notes, remember to use a double column note-taking format.
- Always copy & paste the web address (URL) where you found the info.
- In one column, record important statistics, quotes from experts, examples from case studies, and facts that help build your argument.
- In the second column, record your own thoughts and questions, including how and where they could fit into your essay, or use this column for summarizing, like in Cornell notetaking.
- Are you including multiple perspectives or more than one point of view?
- What about the voices of Youth? Minorities? Immigrants? Global?
- Have you viewed Liberal sources? Conservative sources? Alternative Media sources? From there you can develop a counter-argument.
- What facts or stats could someone use to discredit or counter your argument? See below for good sites to find statistics.
If you are not writing an argumentative essay, how will you share your research? Are you going to tell it as a story or create a narrative essay? Describe a process? Create a documentary? a brochure? a slide show? an info-graphic? Did you storyboard it?
- Do your paragraphs have your own thinking as well as quoted or paraphrased information?
- Do your visuals tell the story you want told and add another layer to the words you carefully chose?
- Did you cite your sources (incl. pics) in MLA8 or APA? Check out these tutorials.
- Did you read aloud to edit for punctuation and capitalization?
- Before you share your work:
- What new questions do you have about your topic?
- Did you change your thesis as you learned more?
- What will you do differently next time you have to do research?
Design Thinking Process Developed by the d.school at Stanford