Inquiry is a part of the writing process which is often rushed-through, usually happening while a student is trying to figure out exactly what they are going to write about. Inquiry involves questioning the existing academic argument surrounding a topic, determining the relationships between new and existing information (i.e. what I know and what I need to know), and then coming up with questions that will further that academic conversation. If instructors can encourage their students to slow down and fully engage in the inquiry process, an elevated level of critical thinking should follow.
Context—How Do We Gather and Interpret Information?
Beware of “Filter Bubbles”
Part of the problem with finding information may be that people are not always getting the information they are seeking. This YouTUBE link to Eli Pariser’s 2011 TED talk uses real, current examples to explain how users do not get ALL the information they think they are getting from the internet. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8ofWFx525s
Students’ Wikipedia Use
Project Information Literacy (PIL) is a long-term, large-scale research project that is investigating how students gather and interpret data. This short PIL video highlights how students use Wikipedia. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nOe26xY1zM
Getting Started—Contextualizing Research
What is Presearch?
This brief checklist of observable presearch behaviors can help instructors modify their teaching to better include inquiry. According to Pappas and Tepe, "Presearch is an important and often neglected stage when searchers initiate a research project or pursue an information need. . . . Presearch provides searchers with strategies to narrow their focus and develop specific questions or define information needs.” http://www.intime.uni.edu/model/information/pres.html
Rules of thumb for researching with Wikipedia
This link to Wikipedia nicely explains Wikipedia’s view of itself: "Wikipedia can be a great tool for learning and researching information. However, as with all reference works, not everything in Wikipedia is accurate, comprehensive, or unbiased.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Researching_with_Wikipedia
Should I use Wikipedia?
This discussion from Australian National University notes that “the big difference between [Wikipedia] and other encyclopedias is that its information is contributed by its users – readers like you. This means that the entries are always being added to/changed.” https://academicskills.anu.edu.au/resources/handouts/research-skills-should-i-use-wikipedia
What is Wikipedia and why can't I cite it?
Texas A&M University-Kingsville has created this guide which discusses the “strengths and weaknesses of Wikipedia articles and how Academia can improve [its] accuracy.” http://libguides.tamuk.edu/content.php?pid=164882&sid=1390945
“Gross oversimplification of the information cycle”
This video from the Kimbel Library explains how “news” gets to readers. This memorable presentation includes a discussion of the pros and cons of various types of sources. http://vimeo.com/13830031
“Scholarly Sources vs. Popular Sources”
Kimbel Library provides a clever explanation of differences between scholarly and popular sources and the need to have a variety of sources. While this video refers to the Kimbel annotated bibliography assignment, its concepts are applicable to myriad assignments where source variety is needed. http://vimeo.com/13186317
“Peer Reviewed Sources”
This link to BGSU Libraries’ “Library Basics” LibGuide explains the differences between journals and magazines and also focuses on why peer review is an important indicator of artice credibility. http://libguides.bgsu.edu/content.php?pid=20573&sid=145205
Strategy—Finding a Research Topic
“Clarifying What You Already Know”
This Issue Discovery exercise written by Ann Westrick guides students to a possible research topic by having them explore things that they are already interested in. Word Document Download
“Finding a Topic in the Everyday”
This Issue Discovery exercise written by Ann Westrick guides students to a possible research topic by having them think more deeply about the things they encounter every day. Word Document Download
Using databases and Wikipedia to find a Topic
In this short video, Ann Westrick discusses using CQ Researcher (via BGSU Library) and Wikipedia to find a research topic. http://www.screenr.com/7Qq8
We apologize. This section is still under construction.