Research Connection

Research is nothing more than digging up information.  If you follow your teacher's directions, you will find that it isn't as difficult as you think.  This page is a basic guide to help you.  It is not a replacement for your teacher.




One Stop Research Planning

4. Organize your information.

Once you have found all the information that you will need, organize it in such a way that it will make sense to both you, the writer, and the person reading your paper.  You can outline or draw diagrams to help with this.  Sites like can be very helpful here.

5. Creating your final product.

Once you have collected and ordered your information, you are ready to write.  Don't worry about getting things perfect the first time you put it on paper.  Writing is a process, and you will rewrite and edit before you are finished.  If you do not already have software for this, Microsoft offers Office 365 to all CCSD Middle and High school students.  Open Office and Libre Office are free suites that offer the same type of programs as Microsoft Office.  Even more useful as a collaboration tool, Google Docs is available to people with a Google account.


6. Double check your work.

Before you can say you're finished, you must check to make sure that you have corrected all of your errors.  Also, make sure that you have gotten all of your information correct.  You should also check that you have followed all of your teacher's directions.  Lastly, make sure that you have chosen a font that can be easily read by tired eyes.  You've gone to a lot of trouble, so make sure that your teacher can read it easily.  There are helpful resources in the General Reference page of the On-Line Library.  


Below is a link site that give you more in-depth information about the research process.


Purdue Online Writing Lab




1.  First you must plan.

What is your topic? (Did your teacher assign one or give you guidelines?) What is your purpose?  What kind of information do you need to collect?

  • It should be narrow/broad enough for the required length.

  • It should be relevant.

  • It should be interesting.

  • It should not be common.  (New and interesting topics are always better to keep your teacher's attention.)

2.  Collect your information.  

The Online Stacks, part of the Swainston Middle School Library website, offers several excellent resources.  The encyclopedias and the databases are resources that offer more information than you will need and can use.  When you use these provided resources, you can be certain that the information will be accurate, reliable, and appropriate.


One way of keeping track of your sources is by bookmarking websites that offer good information.  Websites like or Google Bookmarks (if you have an account) will allow you to keep track and save websites for later reference. You can also save sites to your browser's bookmarks or favorites.


As you take notes put the information in your own words to help you avoid plagiarism as you write your paper.  However, remember, that the purpose of research is not for you to repeat the words, ideas or conclusions of others but for you to reach your own.  Nevertheless, it isn't enough for you to put things in your own words.  You must use your research to reach new, personal, and unique conclusions of your very own.

3. Cite your sources.

You should also take notes as you read and keep track of what information you get from each resource. That will help you later when you build your reference page. BibMe (MLA & APA), Easy Bib (MLA) and Citation Machine (MLA & APA) can be very helpful as you do this.  Also many of the online resources that are provided for you will create a citation that you can copy and paste. 

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