Planning your research

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Research about dragons,
or other mythical creatures.

How are you going to research?
Below is a checklist that might help you when preparing to research.

1. Understand what it is that you are being asked to write about. If you are not sure, ask your teacher or an adult to explain the task to you again.

2. Brainstorm on a sheet of paper what you will be writing about. You might like to brainstorm with a friend, or alone.

3. Begin to search for the information that you will need to refer to in your research. Use the index and glossaries in books, a web search, a list of useful websites, or a local or school library to find relevant materials.

4. Set yourself a time schedule for when you are going to work and rest. It is also a good idea to set yourself a completion date (a deadline) for the research. If you are doing this work in school your teacher may set a schedule for research time.

5. Think about some key questions that you would like to find the answers to by the time you have completed the task. Jot down the key questions.

6. Begin to make outline notes from the materials you have collected.

7. Focus in on your key questions and look for information that will help you to answer them. If you try to write about everything you have read about you will have too much information, and not enough detail.

8. Think about the audience for your work, and write a rough draft of your research:

      • Begin with an outline of what you will be writing about and what you will be arguing for or against, or justifying.

      • Include your research as the main part of your writing. Use the notes you made to answer the key questions in detail.

      • Finally write a summary of what you set out to answer, and what you think the answers to your key questions are.

9. Look through your draft and begin to edit it:

      • Remove any irrelevant information that you have included
      • Check your grammar and punctuation
      • Ask a friend / teacher / adult to proof read it for you

10. Publish your work, either on paper or electronically.

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