A library media specialist and former English teacher shares her best tips for getting students to enjoy the research process




1. Start them young
There are so many skills that students must synthesize to engage in successful research. Students need to locate reliable sources, evaluate the effectiveness of said reliable sources to answer a teacher- or student-driven research question, integrate the research from various sources in a way that makes sense for the audience, and properly cite the sources they’ve used while maintaining a specific format.

2. Encourage collaboration and communication
In general, students find comfort in tackling difficult assignments in small groups. As research tasks fall into the third and fourth depth of knowledge levels, students will go into the challenging tasks with more confidence if they’re working in a group. As many of our schools transition to a 1:1 model for technology, it becomes easier and easier to collaborate on various school projects, research included.

3. Ditch the boring research report format
The 1:1 initiative in our district has allowed our staff to assign meaningful research assignments that result in our students sharing their research finding in various ways. Our students do not submit a typed research report and call the assignment done. Students present their research in a variety of ways…

4. Promote quality resources
Today’s students are accustomed to having all of the information they need with a quick Google search. However, as we teach research skills across the curriculum, students realize that they need to spend ample time evaluating those non-academic sources for accuracy, timeliness, and reliability.

5. Introduce research across the curriculum
Historically, research assignments were most likely to be assigned in English and history classes. Adding elements of the research process across the curriculum has helped our students feel more comfortable with research, specifically citation expectations. The more exposure our students have to these expectations, the more opportunities they have to receive feedback and make meaning in the process.

6. Participate in active research
Nearly every student in our district participates in an extensive active research project. As a student teacher, my mentor Dr. Shannon Beach introduced me to the wonderful world of active research in the high school language arts classroom. All of our 10th-grade honors students generate a research question and work in small groups to answer that question through an extensive literature review and two to three methods of their own.

The information for this post was taken from an article by Angie Jameson in eSchool News, follow this link for the complete article and more details.