Editorial Reviews for this title:
Even very good students think that doing a research project is an excruciating task. They might know their subject well, but they find it easier to go out and dig ditches than to gather facts and organize them into a research paper or project. Rebecca Elliott, the author of Barron's just published Painless Grammar, and her husband James have written a new book to help middle school students turn research into a painless--even enjoyable--process. Their formula is pure common sense. They begin with advice on choosing a topic, then guide students through the thickets of library research, interviewing experts for information, using the Internet, making notes, writing a rough draft, and producing a finished research report. They take students step-by-step through a sample research paper and end with tips on compiling a bibliography. Also featured is an Internet address book with 56 informative websites. Their delightful, user-friendly approach demonstrates that doing a research project really isn't such a burdensome task after all!
Geared toward the secondary-school student with the looming research project and the tendency toward procrastination, Barron's guide holds the reticent researcher's hand through the fearful steps of starting, pursuing, and completing the task. As any procrastinator knows, starting the project is the hardest part. The chapter on picking a topic eases that first step, helping the student to find an idea he or she is interested in, then expanding or narrowing it to an appropriate and manageable scope. Subsequent chapters explore how best to use the library, how to do research over the Internet, and how to prepare for and carry out interviews, followed by essential chapters on note-taking, organizing, writing, and revising. Including a sample research report, and appendixes of check-lists, bibliography options, and Internet addresses, the Elliotts' research guide would be appropriate as a classroom text, an addition to the school library's reference shelf, or an individual purchase to give a kid some help at home.
With its light tone, appealing format and illustrations, and uncomplicated, eminently achievable goals, this book will ease a lot of pain, including the anxious student who's been assigned the research project; the parents, who might otherwise be tasked with pushing their resistant child through what would surely become an onerous experience for everyone; and the teacher, who would rather dole out high praise and grades than schedule a parent conference to discuss that term project that never got done. --Stephanie Gold
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