The Writing Center

Research Log

Before WAC research papers are turned in, you can have a record of your students’ research paths—if you ask them to keep logs.  The benefits to you include a record against plagiarism, the ability to monitor and coach their progress, and a record of how much time students are putting into their projects.       

What Is a Research Log?

Ask students to keep a record—a very brief one, usually in a notebook—of exactly when and where they were when they did their research.  Ask them to report their findings or problems.  Ask them to reflect on the findings.

Example of a Research Log

Here’s one quick example:

5/01/01:
 Home computer:  I used the Business and Industry Internet database from the CSU library page to look up articles on my subject of investing in Russia.  I found many articles in a variety of journals and magazines.  I ordered 3 articles through OhioLink and 1 from Interlibrary Loan.  The rest are available at the CSU 4th floor periodicals desk.  Time:  2 hours.

5/02/01:
CSU library.  Finding articles on 4th floor.  I copied 2 of the 5 I found; the other 3 were not helpful—either for economists or on a topic that wasn’t exactly investing in Russia.  So far, I am finding many natural resources that seem good bets for investing.  Time:  1½ hours.

5/03/01 :
I checked the CSU Scholar catalogue but didn’t find any really recent books so I tried OhioLink and ordered 1.  Time:  1 hour.

5/04/01:
I’m sorting through articles and find that I like one above the rest.  The author has credentials that I admire and the article is well written.  Time:  2 hours.

5/09/01:
 My sources have now come in and I’m reading them closely for my research paper.  I think my focus will be the particular natural resources that might be in demand in the coming years and which businesses to consider. 

If you’d like a workshop on this subject, please call the Director at ext. 6982.

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