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John Pearl Elementary Library

Mrs. Deaner's Rules for Research


  • Make a plan.  Figure out what kind of information you need and how you want organize your notes.  You can make a chart like we do in library!

  • Start with a book, not the internet.  A book as been checked for accuracy, the internet hasn’t. So if you do not have any background information on your topic, you may not realize that the internet information is not correct.

  • When you need online sources, start with Virtual Reference Collection.  The information is accurate and written on a level appropriate for elementary school students.

  • When you are ready to do an internet search, use a child-friendly search engine.  Use sites like the studyzone on or instead of Google.  They will give you information appropriate for kids’ research.  Google is meant for adults.

  • When you search for sites, choose sites that end with .org, .gov, or .edu. instead of .com. The information is more likely to be accurate because it is from the government, colleges, museums, historical associations, etc.

  • If you decide to use a .com, evaluate it using the 5W's to make sure it is a good site for you.
             WHO is responsible for the site?
             WHAT is information can be found on this site?
             WHERE did the author get the information on the site?
             WHEN was it last updated?
             WHY is this site a good site to use? Is it well-organized or kid-friendly?

  • NEVER use Wikipedia (or anything with wiki in the name).  You never know who is supplying the information there. If you don't believe me, READ THIS!

  • Take your notes using “Caveman Language.” This will make sure you use your own words and not copying the author’s words.

  • Make a bibliography or works cited page.  This gives credit to the authors whose work you used.

    Click here for "How to Make a Bibliography."