Before you begin, think of some of the things you need to know (that you do not already know) before you can answer you research question. Do some research on the library webpage (Links to an external site.) or on Google or Google Scholar until you find sources that answer your questions a) in a way you can understand and b) that help you understand the large conversation better.
Remember: you might see your blog posts as polished written texts with your instructor as the audience.You want to persuade your instructor that you are exploring effectively by demonstrating intellectual curiosity, rhetorical reading and an open mind. You will want to show that you are learning something new about your topic with each new blog post, and will ultimately want to show how the process has impacted your understanding of the issue and the focus of your research project. You’ll also want to revise your post so that it is well written and easy to follow.
Write your research question at the top of the post. Then, post a link to each source (Im looking for 2 sources). Then, below each link, include the following information with each one of your sources:
Include a brief summary for each source that highlights the most important things you learned about your topic from that source. This should be a thorough explanation that shows that you read the source–and reveals why you are interested in this topic. Please remember to follow the correct structure for summaries. See page 440 in your textbook and/or Writing a Summary page
What was the question (or questions) that you set out to answer for this blog and how does this source answer those for you? Justify why this was a useful source for answering your research question. If this source doesn’t answer your question, justify why you chose it. Again, do not pick sources generally about your topic–pick sources that move you closer to answering your research question.
- What aspect(s) of the problem/issue/topic does this source seem to focus on most? What kinds of information does this source not discuss?
What new, surprising, or unexpected information came up in this source? (This can be information that was in response to your questions, or information unrelated to your questions.)
Note: Within your answers above, include at least one quote from the source with an in-text citation in MLA format. (Refer to this resource if you need help remembering how to do this. Download Refer to this resource if you need help remembering how to do this.) When thinking about what to quote, select a sentence or two that seems significant to this source and connects to what you are saying in this summary.
Reflect on your next steps. After youve answered the questions above for each of those sources, post a summary of what you feel you understand about your topic, what you are confused about, what questions you still have. You might also discuss:
What do you understand (overall) about your research question and its potential answers?
What questions do you have now that you did not have before? For example, we usually break our research question up into smaller questions we have that we need the answers to before we can answer the research question. What questions do you need to answer still before you can fully answer your research question?
If you were going to explain this topic to someone, what are the parts you would be less confident explaining?
- After you have posted, respond to two classmates. I recommend that you respond to the information that they are most interested in researching next and/or what aspect of the problem they are most interested in focusing on. Try to provide helpful feedback that helps them narrow their focus–and generate questions for research for their next blog. Pay particular attention to their research question. If it’s not clear how these sources answer that question, help your classmate get back on track.