Where do I Start? Middle School Library/Research/Skills

Orientation Videos

Library Orientation

Library Essential Questions:

How can I become an effective user of the Middle School Library and all of its resources?

How can the Library impact my personal reading and information needs?

How is information evaluated and organized? How will this help me become a better researcher?

What is the ethical use of information? How do I make sure I'm using and sharing information responsibly?

Subscription Databases

Topic for debate?
Research databases
Limit Your Results

Jump Start Ideas

6th grade 


Get organized:

  1. Make sure your guidelines for the project are always available to help keep you on track.

  2. Set up a Noodletools project so you can complete the works cited requirement of your project. Use the starter level of MLA for your citations

Look for an overview of your topic of interest/concern:

  1. Often the best place to start is reading about your topic, reading deeply not broadly. It’s not the number of sources that matter it’s the quality and how well  you understand them. Find sources that will help you talk with others about your issue or concern demonstrating that you “get it.”

  2. Use the overview to help you find KEYS to the topic so you can develop your questions and do GOOD searches on the internet.

Have a Plan:

Your plan has two parts,

  1. Before you even start to do your research know what information you already have and create a set of guiding questions about other bits of information you need to know. Research questions, approximately 3-5 of them. This will help guide the search queries you develop and help you decide about the usefulness of the information you find.

  2. Think about your plan of action as you learn more about your topic, brainstorm some options or ideas that are doable for  6th grade students.  

Give yourself Time:

  1. Use the time you have to research to complete all of your information gathering. This will make the next stage of producing a presentation and deciding on an action plan much easier.

  2. Give yourself time to do a good job of researching, sometimes this can take a bit longer than you might think. Often searching for information requires several different internet and database searches using different search strings or queries to achieve your goal of finding the answers to your research questions.

  3. Choose to do your work in “chunks” of time, taking time to reflect: “what else do I need to find” and “do I need to conference with my teacher because I’m stuck and can’t seem to move on.”

  4. Give yourself time to go in a different direction from your starting point, sometimes you might change your mind.

Start with the Prescott Library Page, it may just be the jumping off point you need!


Organizing Your Argument