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English 302: I-Search

This guide introduces future teachers to Pollak Library and Web resources that will help enhance their understanding of teaching reading, writing, and literature.

Explore Topics | Concepts

1. What is your topic?
Any idea. Any concept. Is a good place to begin. Explore first. With words, phrases, ideas, concepts, or questions.

2. Clarity
Are the words in the topic vague or clear? What words would be more clear?

3. General/Specific
Is the topic too general? What words/concepts would be more specific?

4. Broad/Narrow
Is your topic too broad?
How can you narrow down your topic so it is more focused?

Refine. Relate. Revise.

1. Are there related topics, concepts, theories, history, movements, authors, etc. that you need to re-search more?

2. What is the context of your topic: historical, cultural, political, religious, socioeconomic, psychological, etc.?

3. Break down complex topics
If your topic is complex and convoluted, break down the topic into several smaller topic areas.

4. Map out 3-5 examples. 

Search | Strategic Exploration

Be elastic & be specific. Both are necessary. Research is a fluid, creative and elastic process.

For example, you can narrow down your topic when it is too broad or when you find too much information.
You can expand, refine, or revise your search words to make your search more precise.

You can use connectors such as AND, OR, NOT, and techniques such as *-- the wildcard or truncation mark, and/or double quotes " " to refine your search.

Try using the techniques above & create search statements that capture your research interests.





Mapping Resources | Databases

Explore Library resources, services, and databases related to your topic. 
Write down 3-5 resources | databases that you plan to explore. And why do you choose them?

Document Your Re-Search Process

"Picturing the Personal Essay: A Visual Guide" by Tim Bascom

1. What parallels do you see between your I-search process and the processes presented in Tim Bacom's essay?   
How is your journey unique?
How would you map your I-search journey?

2. What did you learn in the research process?

3. What new concepts or ideas did you discover? Add them to your notes.

4. What new questions do you have now? How would you approach them?