Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Searching Successfully

As we return to persuasive essay projects this week, some students are still attempting to find more information to support their position. All good opinion papers have specific details, fact, and statistics to support their point of view. Finding and organizing the data is often the most challenging part of this writing project. This takes hard work, and some Internet savvy.

At some point during the school year, almost every student has jumped on Google to find information. Because each student has their own PC, they quickly become use to using them as a tool, whether they need to find information, as a dictionary, or thesaurus. However, when searching for specific information, it takes slightly different skills.

One area of focus is the use of key words. Students must try a variety of search terms, and skim through the results to find the most relevant information. Also, when searching for facts about a topic, using words that relate to for or against an issue is imperative.

Examples of words that show support of an issue include:
for, pro, benefit, agree, positive effect, good points, reasons for

Examples of words that demonstrate disagreement with an issue include:
against, con, no, disagree, bad, problems with, negative effects

Just including one of these words usually narrows search results, helping find usable facts and statistics to support an opinion.

In addition, students watched this video on Google basics.

A persuasive essay will only be as good as the research that supports it. To convince the reader that you are right, you have to have the facts to make your point.


Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. McGuire,

The video looks great. I will add it to my blog for my monkeys to use as well. Do you have any good ones for plagiarism? I am going to take a search through youtube and teachertube this week, but I thought I would check with you first.

The monkeys just finished a representing project called "Buy This Book Because..." and we are having "A Night of Best Sellers" to see which books our guests would want to buy because of how it was represented. Unfortunately, some of the posters need to be "fixed" because their summaries came straight from the internet. More teaching of summary writing and more education about plagiarism is definitely needed!!

Is this a problem with your kids since they use the net a lot for resources? Do you have a school wide reference for kids to follow re:plagiarism? I know some schools use the "no more than 5 words in a row the same as the author" or they require citations for everything.

Thanks for the great video!

Mr. McGuire said...

Head Monkey,

Welcome back. Plagiarism is an increasingly difficult problem, as I am sure you know. There is so much information, and it is so easily available, students must find a way to utilize it, while respecting the author.

I don't have a video, but if you find one, let me know and I will share it.

Anonymous said...

The video you showed us really helped me search on Google. I really need help orgainizing my paragraphs.

Anonymous said...

I think google searching is very fun because you learn a lot of stuff. I think it's very fun.

Anonymous said...

I also like google. I am glad you told us how to use pros and cons when you are looking for information on your topic. If you think you want to write positive things type pros with your search. If you want negative things about it type in cons it really works.

Anonymous said...

I went to google and I did exacticly what it said to do. I found many cool thing that I need for my information .