Here are some ideas for you to use in helping your
students with the information search process:
Questions to start the conversation with your students:
Are you unsure as to where to start?
If so, you're not alone! Everyone experiences this at some time
or other, but some people have strategies or techniques to get them
started. When you are planning a project, presentation or paper,
try some of the following suggestions.
EXPLORE the problem -- not the topic
DETERMINE your goals
GENERATE some ideas
1. Brainstorm -ask for help from the library, your professor,
-Write down your ideas, and others' ideas
-Don't censor or evaluate
-Keep returning to the problem
2. Talk to your audience
- What questions might they ask?
- What different kinds of audiences might you have? Do you have
the answers to their potential questions? If not, how can you
locate the answers?
Help your students explore their topic: help them ask the right
questions for the type of paper or project you have assigned
Remind them of the difference between analysis, opinion, and
other styles of writing. Help them understand more fully what your
Below are some areas which might help you jumpstart the
EXAMPLE: Compressed air automobiles versus Gasoline powered
cars, versus other alternative "Green" energy sources.
B. Journalistic questions
Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? So What?
C. Common topic areas
EXAMPLE: Commune, Community, Europena Economic
EXAMPLE: Acid Rain
EXAMPLE: Should doctors be allowed to prescribe medications
which would end a person's life?
EXAMPLE: Could the United States suffer another major stock
market crash, triggering another Great Depression?