The purists in the crowd may take great umbrage with this post, but I’m willing to risk their wrath. I have to meet kids where they are- and where many of them are is struggling when it comes to research.
I’ve vetted this Research Cheat Code sheet with small groups of students and it’s worked well. It contains four tools that work well together. These tools are also helpful for any student in the “pre-search” process. They are:
1. Google Advanced Search – allows students to search by reading level.
2. Using CMD F (keyboard shortcut) to search for keywords in a document to aid in scanning for relevant information.
3. TLDR– “Too Long, Didn’t Read” is a summarizing tool that gives options for short, medium or long versions of articles. There is a “summary” section that students should bypass as it often omits critical information. CMD F will also work in TLDR to aid in scanning.
4. Google Similar Pages– Provides students a list of similar sites, cutting out the junk that Google often packs into the search results.
Please note- TLDR and Google Similar Pages are Chrome extensions. Students need to use Chrome in order to use them.
This Research Cheats handout can be kept handy to help students out.