Today is the day. Yep, that day. The day my students will start their research projects.
Today is the day of the continual face palm.
Today is the day that I know is coming each and every year I assign a research project. The topic doesn’t matter. The grade level doesn’t matter. It is the same each time.
Today is the day that I will spend walking around the computers fielding the following question:
“Is the article okay?”
My answer: “Well, have you read it? Does it contain the information you need for your paper?”
“I don’t know. Does it?”
Me: “You tell me. Why did you choose this one?”
“Because it was the first one on Google.”
Me: “So what you are saying is you have an article you have not read but you think is the one you should use because it is the first one on Google. So, in theory, this article could have about two sentences on your topic, and the rest of it could be about trying to stir-fry pterodactyl while fighting off polar bears in the middle of Australia.”
“Well, when you put it that way…”
Me: “So maybe you should read the article and find out.”
“I guess so.”
I’ve pretty much had this same conversation with at least half of my students every year I have done a research project. This will be year 19 for this little ritual. Google or not, the first article they find is always the most awesome.
I try to handle it with a sense of humor, but my forehead hurts.
Slow down. Read carefully. Think it through. This is not a race. Choose wisely.
You can do this. It will just take time.