Research Tipsand Tools

          Information Cycle, Genres and Sources  (research 101)






News: WWW & Broadcast



 Information Cycle













Popular communication 
:inform and entertain the general audience. 
e.g. Time, Rolling Stone magazines and  Michael Jackson : music's living legend by Rosemary Wallner, distributed by Rockbottom Books.










Styles of communication, specific conventions and target audiences

Scholarly communication :disseminates research and academic discussion among professionals within disci plines.
Memory & Cognition, Journal of Abnormal Psychology 

Animated comparison, click here-scroll down













 Trade communication : allows practitioners in specific industries to share market and production information that improves their businesses.
Variety or Elevator World






 From Research 101















 Primary: Think of physical evidence or eyewitness testimony in a court trial.
Original, uninterpreted                    information.
Unedited, firsthand access to words, images, or objects created by persons directly involved in an activity or event or speaking directly for a group.

Information before it has been analyzed, interpreted, commented upon, spun, or repackaged. .










 Try   your luck












Think of a lawyer's final summation or jury discussion in a court trial. 
analyze or summarize.

 Commentary upon, or analysis of, events, ideas, or primary sources.  

Written significantly after events by parties not directly involved but who have special expertise

Provide historical context or critical perspectives. 

















 Summary Link Web Part

Teacher's Sites
Search Engines
Broadcast News
Academic Journals
Boulder PL Electronic Reference Books
VIRTUAL REFERENCE: Ebooks,Databases CHS and Public Libraries
Book search sites- CU, Public Libraries
Reference Works
Citation Creation
Research Sites
Apply for a Public Library Card
Magazine Databases



    Ask the question,
    make it essential to you: one that you want to answer. 

    "I want to investigate____________________________________________ because I want to know___________________ so I can understand________________________________."

    e.g.  An essential question around a theme in Frankenstein might be written as:

    "I want to investigate the  idea of monsters because I want to know if folk beliefs caused a fear of a woman giving birth to one                                                               OR 
    About the legacy created by taking " Spoils of War "

    "I want to investigate theft of art during World War II because I want to know how large an issue this was in order to establish  how pervasive and long lasting the effects of war are."

    Think hard about what/why this topic interests you.

    3 Brainstorm related ideas: make a Concept Map! Write every idea that comes to mind. 
    3 Ask all sorts of questions to sort out your exact interest. 
    Use the CONCEPT WORDS as  keywords to search for information and as subquestions to add depth to your work.



     Content Editor Web Part


     Research: NOUN: a detailed study of a subject, especially in order to discover (new) information or reach a (new) understanding.   Cambridge Dictionaries on-line.

    The word "research" is used to describe a number of similar and often overlapping activities involving a search for information. For example, answering reference questions (facts) and review or report questions (a summary of known information) both involve searching for information but since no new information is created, they are not RESEARCH QUESTIONS. The differences are significant and are worth examining. Read on...


      3 TYPES OF QUESTIONS that involve "LOOKING up Infromation"




    1. Reference questions : typically answered with single known facts or statistics.
    e.g.Scavenger hunt, trivia, jeopardy,background information, answers to level one questions. Use
    encyclopedias,almanacs,topical reference books

    1.a. Find the population of each country in Africa or the total (in dollars) of Japanese investment in the U.S. in 2002.
    1.b. What percentage of drug-related crime in 1999 was committed by dealers, not users?"  

       A search for individual facts or data:
            *Often is part of the search for the solution to a larger problem or simply the answer to a “bar bet”.
            * May be gathering background information to understand the context of a book, artist, fashion design or historical period
             * Facts/data are sometimes found quickly or can require a very intensive/extensive search [Note: Concerned with
    facts rather than knowledge or analysis and answers can normally be found in a single source.]

      2. Review or report questions are typically answered with what is generally known about a fairly narrow topic. A survey of what is known or opinions.

    e.g. current events, book report, controverials topic report,

     2.a. Find out what is known generally about a fairly specific topic. "What is the history of the Internet?"
    2.b “What is the rationale for California's "3 strikes" sentencing policy?”


     A report or review:
    ***NOT designed to create new information or insight

    IS DESIGNED to collate and synthesize existing information.
    A summary of the past.

    Answers can typically be found in a selection of books, articles, and Web sites.

    Note: gathering this information may often include activities like #1 above.]

      3. Research questions are open-ended and require a variety of accumulated data to develop an answer. Done in high school, college and in the world of work!  Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, New thinking.


    3.a. Gather evidence to determine whether gang violence is directly related to playing violent video games.

    3.b."Could liberalization of drug laws reduce crime in the U.S.?"


     Combines reference and review/report searches to answer an open ended question.  Is advanced thinking and analysis: requires an open-ended question for which there is no ready answer.
    One must:
    * Gather and analyze a body of information or data and *  Extract new meaning from it or
     * Develop unique solutions to problems or cases..

    [Note: this will always include #2  and usually #1above. It may also involve designing and performing experiments, gathering new data through lab or field work, surveys, or other techniques.]