Project Resources: How To Effectively Extract Information From Your Research

Project Resources: How To Effectively Extract Information From Your Research

Project Resources: How To Effectively Extract Information From Your Research
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This guide is provided for the benefit of Modern Language students at Finger Lakes Community College. However, the counsel here is probably good enough to satisfy most other academic endeavors. Enjoy!

So… I have an MLA-formatted bibliography?

Yup…

And an MLA-formatted annotated bibliography?

Double yup…

Time to support your “Thesis Statement” or “What am I trying to do here?”

Think about your topic selection for a minute…

First step is to think ahead a bit and ask the question “What am I trying to do here?” “What is my argument?” “Why should people care?” “What will this project do?” “What form will my project take?”

You’re going to need to create a project of some kind, and express it digitally (online). Your research must show that your research directly influences the product that you’re creating.

REMEMBER, you’re not necessarily presenting this information verbatim. No copy/paste. The data you’re extracting will help guide and mold your final product. Slapping ten facts on a poster will no longer be enough to earn credit. You’ve got to find data that will help you in the creative process – to make something representative of the knowledge gained throughout the semester.

Extract data

Once you have decided your creative direction (muse?), you must write ten paragraphs based on your research that will have the greatest impact in molding and shaping your creative project.

In past Modern Language classes @ FLCC these used to be “Ten Fast Facts” or “data points”. Not any more. Each paragraph must be 4-6 sentences in length and must show a clear and relevant connection to the topic that you have chosen.

Bad example (no credit):

“Spain is huge.”

Good example (full credit):

“The territory of Spain includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the African coast, and two autonomous cities in North Africa, Ceuta and Melilla, that border Morocco, plus Alborán, Chafarinas Islands, Alhucemas, Vélez de la Gomera and other small islets including Perejil. Furthermore, the town of Llívia is a Spanish exclave situated inside French territory. With an area of 505,992 km2, Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe.

Here’s an example of two well-written, research based paragraphs submitted by an FLCC language student:

1. “Filet (embroidered lace on fishnet) is slow and arduous to make by hand. Modern-day machines have replaced the handiwork on this fine netting. Today, available in various colors, work on net is considered some of the finest laces made. The earliest known fillet came from Italy and Spain and remains popular today. It consists of large designs filled with darning stitches with embroidered outlines. Since fishnet is very soft and delicate, threads recommended are stranded cotton, floss flax, flourishing thread, embroidery rayon and silk with outlines in tightly twisted pearl cotton that often include metallic treads.” (DeDillmont (447-448)

2. The skill of lace making takes decades to master and is engrained mainstay of Catalan culture even today. It is not unusual to find family lace makers spanning back five to six generations. Because of its complexity and time consuming construction, Spanish-made lace today is worth more than gold. A handkerchief can take up to six months to complete; a pair of ladies gloves made by Catalan lace makers run $2,500 euro — or $3460 dollars. Check out more on the Catalan Lace Guild’s Facebook page: Associació Catalana de Puntaires. (“Turning Thread into Gold”)

Remember, the key to effective research is also having an idea of what you’re going to do with it!
  • What am I going to create for my project (Step 6)?
  • How will my project synthesize this information into something practical and interesting?
  • How can I engage my audience with this information?

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