Last week I published two blog posts (here and here)in which I referenced having students make lists before they begin in-depth web research. A couple of readers have emailed me asking if I can give an example of the pre-search checklists that I mentioned in those posts. It’s not anything fancy, but I do have this Google Document that I have given to students to fill-in by listing what they’re looking for, what they already know, and how they think other people would describe the same topic. Feel free to make a copy of the document and or modify it for your students.
As I wrote last week, the list strategy is useful because it often helps students narrow their searches before they even touch the keyboard on their laptops. Rather than just instantly entering the first thing that comes to mind into Google, they’re forced to slow down and evaluate what they already know about the topic at hand.