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Pre-Search   Tags: pre-search, research  

Advice for the activities that lead up to searching for information.
Last Updated: Jun 8, 2010 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Pre-Search Overview

Virginia Rankin's book titled The Thoughtful Researcher: Teaching the Research Process to Middle School Students provides advise for the activities that lead up to searching for information.  Her suggestions can be used to gain a more solid foundation before launching into the larger information search assignment.

Pre-Search Strategies

  • Learn to read for highlights, key words, and definitions.
  • Build a vocabulary of names and nouns that will likely take you to more information.
  • Relax, read, and reflect / read reference materials, popular materials, items that help to feed your curiosity and that you understand.
  • Brainstorm, take initial notes, categorize terms and ideas.

Generate Workable Questions

  • Consider questions that interest you and will likely interest others.
  • Derive questions from pre-search reading, but be prepared to revise questions as you explore more.
  • Find a balance between topics that are too broad and too narrow.  Take into consideration the time you have and resources available to you.
  • Consider options for presenting your findings.  What format is assigned?  What is best suited to your skills?  What is most likely to convey a meaningful presentation?  Will the format determine the kinds of illustrations, figures, and charts that you might include?

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