Chapter 7: Building Responsible Knowledge

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Information Literacy
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The skills one needs to locate information efficiently and to evaluate what one learns.
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Developing a Research Strategy
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1. Prepare an Overview: gather background information 2. Build a Bibliography: easily access information 3. Acquire In-depth Knowledge
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Guidelines for Avoiding Plagiarism
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1. Introduce authors of quotations 2. Identify sources of information 3. Give credit to the originators of important ideas 4. Be sure that your information is up to date 5. Include local applicants: how it affects audience
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Vertical File
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A library resource containing local materials.
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Responsible Knowledge
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An understanding of the major features, issues, information, latest developments, and local applicants relevant to a topic.
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Responsible knowlegde includes information on:
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1. the main issues of your topic 2. what respected authorities say about it 3. latest developments relevant to it 4. local applications that might interest your audience
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Steps to Acquiring Responsible Knowledge
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1. Assess personal knowledge and experience 2. Enrich your knowledge by using library and internet sources and interviews with experts 3. Take careful notes for use in preparing for your speech.
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College and University Resources (Research in the Library)
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1. Reference/Research Librarian 2. Reference Area: dictionaries, periodicals, etc. 3. Online Catalog: list of what is in library 4. Electronic Databases: popular, scholarly, & gov. 5. Government Documents Area 6. Nonprint Media Archives: films, DVDs, CDs, recordings 7. Special Collections Area: Local publications
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Doing Research on the Internet
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– Search engines: (general) an internet search engine that allows you to enter a keyword and find related Web Sites: Problems: amount of material and lack of editorial oversight – Subject Directories: an organized list of links to Web sites on specific topics
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Valuable Web Resources
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1. Google News 2. Merriam-Webster Online 3. About.com 4. Intute 5. Hulu 6. Searchgov.com 7. American Fact Finder 8. FedStats.gov 9. WhiteHouse.gov 10. American Rhetoric
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Questions When Researching Sources
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1. Does it contain relevent factual and statistical info? 2. Does it cite experts whom I can quote or paraphrase? 3. Does it provide interesting examples that can help illustrate my main ideas? 4. Does it provide narratives that can bring my topic to life?
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Four R’s
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Relevance, Representativeness, Recency, Reliabilty
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Evaluating Material from the Internet
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– Advocacy Web sites: a web site whose major purpose is to change attitudes or behaviors and raise consciousness, ex. Southern Poverty Law Center.org – Information web sites: a web site designed to provide factual information on a subject, ex. Mayo Clinic.com (.edu, .gov) – Personal web sites: a web site designed and maintained by an individual; contains whatever that person wishes to place on it.
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Evaluating Web Sites
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– Authority: the credibility and expertise of a given source of information wiht respect to a given issue or area. – Accuracy: the precision or truthfulness of information; use sites posted by credible sources – Objectivity: the extent to which information on Web sites is free from personal feelings, bias and hidden agendas
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Strategies to Minimize Interview Problems
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1. Make interviews the final phase of your research prep. 2. Check your library’s vertical file or local newspaper archives to help identify prospects for interviews 3. Identify widely recognized experts for possible telephone or e-mail interviews 4. Face-to-Face interviews are best, but E-mail or phone calls can be used to verify info, acquire a quote, or identify a person’s opinion 5. Use faculty members on your college campus for possible expert interviews
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Steps for Interviewing
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1. Establish contact: write a letter 2. Prepare for the Interview: Do prior research so that your questions can be intelligent and prepared 3. Conduct the interview: dress appropriately, establish common ground
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Interview Terms
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1. Probes: questions that ask someone being interviewed to elaborate on a response (Could you tell me more about…) 2. Mirror questions: questions that repeat part of a previous respone to encourage further discussion 3. Verfier: confirms the meaning of something that has been said (If I understand you correctly, you’re saying…) 4. Reinforcer: a comment or action that encourages further communication from the interviewee (nod, smile)
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Taking notes on your Research
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– Source Card: kept of the author, title, place and date of publication, and page references for each research source – Information Card: Research notes on facts and ideas obtained from an article or book

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