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Learning Interchange
National Writing Institute

Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Level One: My research is about a broad topic. I can complete the assignment by using a general reference source such as an encyclopedia. I have no personal questions about the topic.

1) My research is about water pollution.
2) My research is about pets.

Level Two: My research centers on a question that helps me narrow the focus of my search. This question may mean that I need to go to various sources to gather enough information to get a reliable answer. The question may still be a little too broad for focused research. The conclusions of the research will ask me to give a supported answer to the question.

1) How much pollution is found in the Mississippi River?
2) What kinds of animals make good pets?

Level Three: My research attempts to answer a question of personal relevance. To answer this question I may need to consult not just secondary sources such as magazines, newspapers, books or the Internet, but I may also need to use primary sources on information such as original surveys, interview, or source documents.

1) I have determined I want to live on the Mississippi River. However, I am concerned about level of pollution. What city along the river would be the best place for my home? 
2) What is the best pet for my family?

Level Four: My research attempts to answer a personal question about the topic and contains information that may be of use to decision-makers as they make policy or distribute funds. My research will lead me to many types of resources and will compel me to synthesize the information in order to draw a conclusion/s. The result of my research contains a call for action. I will include a plan to communicate this information.

1) What are the perceived and real causes of pollution in the Mississippi River near the city of ________? What can be done to decrease the pollution level?
2) Should my grandmother be allowed to take her pet dog with her when she goes to the rest home?

* Adapted from The Indispensable Teachers' Guide to Computer Skills Doug Johnson

Copyright 1997-2003
Career Connection to Teaching with Technology
USDOE Technology Innovation Challenge Grant
Marshall Ransom, Project Manager
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