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Rutgers RIOT

Found in: language arts & literature, 6-8, 9-12

Rutgers RIOT (Research Information Online Tutorial) is a five-part interactive tutorial that teaches concepts and strategies for approaching a research paper. The tutorial provides feedback as students progress through each step. The website is closed-captioned. Though designed for college undergraduates, the tutorial would make an excellent introduction for students in grades 6-12.

To practice the skills discussed in the tutorial, students assume the role of an assistant to a librarian and help her students with their research projects.

Selecting A Topic (4 minutes) shows students how to focus their research by using limiters.

Finding Sources (9 minutes) lists examples of primary, secondary, and tertiary sources and discusses pros and cons of different source types (books, popular magazine, newspapers, scholarly journals, government publications) and where they can be found, focusing largely on library databases and stressing their advantages over Google and Google Scholar. This section includes a demonstration of Academic Search Premier. The section ends with a review.

*Some of the discussion applies specifically to what is available for Rutgers University students. RefWorks, for example, can be accessed only by Rutgers students or by students in school districts that subscribe to the service.

Selecting Keywords (4 minutes) makes a distinction between searching on Google and on a database and suggests how to adjust keyword combinations to improve search results.

Identifying Citations (4 minutes) suggests how to find additional resources and how to distinguish between book and journal citations.

Evaluating Sources (5 minutes) provides three criteria for evaluating sources: reliability, timeliness, and context.

A printable Summary outlines the five modules.


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