Stage 2 Identify Specific Research Materials

Using the Multiple Reading Process, you should begin to examine relevant research materials at the various libraries and information locations that you've identified. At this point, don't try to complete all your research. Instead, conduct an overview of the books, articles and other materials that are available. You may also want to do some selective previewing of especially important books and articles, though actual reading should be postponed until later.

(In some cases, such as when there are severe restrictions on access to a library or other sources, you may have to go in and do all your research there on your first visit. But if possible, it's best first to get an overall idea of the quality of the materials available in different places. Then, you can go back and examine the most important information in more depth on a second visit or later visits.)

Here are some suggested steps to help you in identifying your sources.

First, arm yourself with appropriate materials. Buy some 3-x-5-inch cards to record the references you find. Also, you should carry a couple of larger pads for making more extensive recall patterns. And of course, don't forget to take at least two or three pens or pencils, in case the one you're using breaks or runs out of ink.

Second, develop a list of possible resources. Don't be afraid to use your imagination. Also, check with librarians in charge of centers of information. They are usually highly trained in the way their library materials are organized, and they can often provide the student with advice about reader's guides, bibliographies and other sources.

Third, overview every book you find that seems relevant to your topic.

Fourth, if you think you'll use a particular book or article for your paper, record on your index cards all the essential information that you'll need for footnotes and bibliographical references.

You should learn before you begin your research what format your teacher requires for documentation so that you can get it all on paper at this stage. There's nothing more frustrating than to finish a paper and find you have to wade back through all your sources in various libraries simply because you forgot to note the publication date or some other essential element. In general, you'll need to record the full title, the author, the pages pertinent to the topic, the publisher and the date and place of publication.

Fifth, after overviewing the sources, begin to draw recall patterns.

It may be possible to put a recall pattern on the index cards for sources that are of relatively limited value or contain only a small amount of information. For more important sources, however, you'll probably have to use a larger sheet of paper for the recall pattern. If you do formulate a recall pattern on a second sheet at this point, be sure to copy the documentation information onto the recall pattern so that you'll have it handy later for inserting footnotes.

Sixth, in some cases, you may also want to preview some especially important books or articles at this preliminary stage. If you do, fill out your recall pattern further with the additional information you gather.

Seventh, as you take these preliminary notes and record your documentation, identify and note on your cards the sections of books and articles that you want to read in more detail later.

Eighth, limit the time you spend in this source-identification phase of your research! For a paper the length of the one that Beth had to write—about 5,000 words—one or at the most two days was plenty of time to devote to this preliminary stage.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
The Art Of Cold Reading

The Art Of Cold Reading

Today I'm going to teach you a fundamental Mentalism technique known as 'cold reading'. Cold reading is a technique employed by mentalists and charlatans and by charlatan I refer to psychics, mediums, fortune tellers or anyone that claims false abilities that is used to give the illusion that the person has some form of super natural power.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment