Brief Description of the Site:
Educators know it's all about the content when students are assigned to research, but students often need a primer that will guide them every step of the way to successful project completion. Cambridge Rindge and Latin School Research Guide is just such a tool. It is easy to understand; instructions are clearly delineated, and preparation materials are listed for the kind of helpful organization that can be used as a lifelong academic strategy. Examples and worksheets help with that organization applicable to upper elementary through high school (and college perhaps, as well). According to the site, "the research process is recursive, which means that at any point you can go back and redo an earlier step." The tone of the site is very reassuring in its simplicity and direct manner. The toolbar on the left has an introduction, Basic Steps, Tip Sheets, the "Big 6" Skills required for project development, CRLS Library links to other resources, and a Site Map. This is a "getting down to business" site with focus.
How to use the site:
Basics Steps is a list of 24 requirements for successful research (#24 being the need to turn the work in on time). The first 23 all have hyperlinks for clear explanations that answer the questions: What is this? How and when do I write it? What does it look like? Where do I go from here? There are popup reminders for annotations and where they belong. The Tip Sheets is a list of 21 suggestions, each of which is a hyperlink to further explanation, demonstration and modeling. Tip Sheet 12, for example, explains the importance of making Note Cards, and then, step by step, explains how to do it. The Big 6 Skills address those tasks, and each is hyperlinked for yet more well organized details on the why and how to of the category. The hyperlinks have a uniformity that facilitates ease of navigation, helping to structure. The strength in the site's content is its potential for use by individuals or collaborating groups of teachers or students. This URL would be helpful for parents often in a quandary as to how to help their children develop a research project for school. Educators might want to print out copies (in large font) of this URL to place in student notebooks for continual reference.