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ERIC Number: ED414906
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Student Research: Productive or Counterproductive?
McGregor, Joy
This paper describes two studies conducted with high school students doing library research and writing research papers, with the objective of examining the effectiveness of this type of assignment. The students were all in grade 11, the first group in Canada, the second in the United States. Students were observed in the classroom before they received their research paper assignments, in the library while searching for information, and while they wrote their papers. Formal and informal interviews were conducted, and their notes, rough and final drafts and original sources were examined. Both productive and counterproductive elements of the assignments were identified. The teacher's guidance throughout the process was appreciated by most students; students liked having the process broken down into manageable steps, which they found less intimidating than being given the whole task to do on their own. The teacher brought some of the needed reference books into the classroom and drew a map of the library to help students find materials. Examples provided in handouts made writing a thesis statement and an outline easy. Suggesting that students did not have to write their rough draft in order also seemed to help. The first study revealed a great deal of plagiarism. Students objected to: copying directly from sources onto note cards; rewriting of their thesis statements by the teacher, for those who were struggling; and the unavailability of computer lab time for word processing. Another counterproductive behavior come from an incomplete mental mode of the potential role of a school librarian. This study concludes that school librarians, in cooperation with teachers, must make every library research project meaningful to students. (AEF)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; United States