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ELEMENTARY: RESEARCH

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ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY BOOK SEARCH

DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP

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BOOLEAN OPERATORS

AND (in capitals) groups two search terms together and eliminates results that don't include both.
Example: weather AND storms:

  • Purple area in middle shows focused results.
  • Some databases and search engines (such as Google) include AND even if you don't write it.
  • AND narrows results.
  • Some use + instead of AND.

OR expands a search to include both terms.
Results include one term or the other.
Example: weather OR storms

  • If you're not getting enough results, OR finds more for you.

 

NOT removes terms from a search.
Narrows your search.
Example: weather NOT storms

Red area shows results, any mention of storms (even if weather is present) are removed.

  • NOT ignores certain results that you don't want.
  • Some use - instead of NOT.

(Parentheses) require terms inside to be searched first.
Similar to BEDMAS (brackets is first letter)
Example: (Canada OR Ontario) AND weather

Purple area shows results, so results are compound search of:

  • Canada AND weather
  • Ontario AND weather
  • Parentheses also known as NESTING

"Quotation marks" search for a series of words two or more words in EXACT ORDER.
Example: "Canadian Shield"
Canadian Shield without quotation marks could find results:

  • that mention Canadian
  • that mention shield
  • as well as those for Canadian Shield

You could end up with results about Canadian money or medieval armour.
Search for song title by entering a few words in quotations.
Quotation eliminate finding root word in larger words

  • "challenge" instead of challenged, challenger, challenges, etc.,

Truncation* broadens a search to find multiple endings and/or spellings.
Add an asterisk * to end of root word.
Example: child*

  • child
  • childs
  • children
  • childrens
  • childhood

Wildcards substitute ? for a letter in word.
The wildcard can subsitute 0 or 1 character.
Helpful when spelling might be different.
Example: colo?r

  • color, colour

Example: wom?n

  • woman, women, womyn

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Online Resources

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National Film Board of Canada - Wikipedia

National Film Board of Canada provides free streaming to some of their content. 

Videos marked CAMPUS require a subscription. 

TVDSB does not have a subscription to access these films.

RESEARCH & INQUIRY

ON YOUR OWN: CLICK ON STAGES BELOW FOR HELPFUL RESOURCES

STAGE 1: PREPARING: Think about what is expected for your assignment (what do you need to show or answer), select your topic, and create a thesis to guide you through the remaining stages of research. Look back at your thesis regularly!

STAGE 2: INVESTIGATING & GATHERING: Gather information and avoid plagiarising, use jot notes and cite sources.  Use a variety of resources for your research.

STAGE 3: THINKING: Graphic organisers and outlines give you a structure as you gather information.  When you begin the writing process, consider the purpose and audience for your writing while you edit and evaluate your work.

STAGE 4: SHARING: Decide how your final research project will be presented (what it will look like). Project checklists and rubrics help ensure you have included everything you need.  Finally, reflect and think about what you have learned and how you might do things differently in your next assignments. Bibliography sheets/websites ensure you have cited your sources appropriately.

 

Once you have determined your topic area, conducted background reading, and developed a research question, you should brainstorm similar terms (synonyms) or related terms, that represent each of the key concepts in your research question.

Example: 

Topic Area: Sustainable Development

Background Reading: consulted the Encyclopedia Britannica Online, Wikipedia, the print World Book in my school Learning Commons, and CBC News.

Research Question: How do recent activities in the Canada oil industry reflect the changing attitudes of the Canadian federal government towards environmental protection in Canada?

      Main Concepts in Research Question:

  1. Oil Industry
  2. Canadian Federal Government
  3. Environmental Protection

Developing Search Terms: Synonyms and Similar Terms 

Oil Industry                      Canadian Federal Government       Environmental Protection 

oil sands

oil and gas

tar sands 

fracking

Alberta 

pipeline

 

Conservative Government

Federal Government

Canadian Government

Prime Minister Harper

Conservatives

Progressive Conservatives

 

sustainable development 

pollution

environmentalism

global warming

environmenal change

deforestation

erosion

Worksheet
Watch the video, read the instructions then use this worksheet to narrow your topic and identify keywords for searching.
*Content on this page borrowed with permission from UCDSB Learning Commons Coordinator, Kristen Hearns*
Check out Waterloo DSB LLC's Research Questions Page

 

CITATION TOOLS

 

 

Bib Me

Easy Bib  
 

 

 

 

Citation Machine

WritingHouse.org  
     
Table Of Contents Index Glossary
  • also called "Contents" or "Table of Content"
  • found near the beginning of a text
  • lists the main parts of the resource in order
  • indicates page numbers/links for each part
  • for a visual example CLICK HERE
  • similar to a Table of Contents, but even more extensive
  • found near the end of a resource
  • lists specific subjects in alphabetical order and their corresponding pages
  • used to help the reader effectively find information
  • for a visual example CLICK HERE
  • also called "Vocabulary"
  • found at the end of a text
  • identifies in alphabetical order all new, uncommon or specialized vocabulary within a resource
  • provides definitions of the vocabulary listed
Website Tools Database Tools Search Engines
  • navigation and search bars
  • provides additional web links
  • About Us and "footers" at the bottom of the page often provide the information for a citation
  • BACK and HELP buttons
  • search bar
  • reads texts
  • provides citation
  • provides additional web links
  • use of copyright images 
  • use of "HELP" tips
  • phrase searches (used to narrow results) using quotation marks: "Canada's trading partners"
  • wildcard searches (used to expand results) using an asterisk: fish*
  • strict filtering
  Visual Tools  

 

(charts, graphs, etc.)

  • show relationships
  • make comparisons
  • connect ideas
  • colour and size elements are important considerations