The research I conduct when preparing to write an essay often sets me off on a tangent from my original intentions. I really enjoy reading, and sometimes that tangent will take me right off topic and I end up wasting a lot of time. I also have developed a lot of preconceived notions about subjects over time, sometimes they are reinforced, sometimes they are wrong, or at least not necessarily what I thought. Once I have looked a little deeper, I sometimes find a perspective that, to me, seemed much more interesting and causes me to change my writing plan.
To stay on track, I began the research process by reading the module objectives and the assignment summary, first, to thoroughly understand the assignment, then, to give myself a basic outline. Reading and understanding the textbook and handbook references introduces new points, and reinforces what I have learned in previous classes. Understanding the intent of the assignment is essential, as was demonstrated by the class in the “Effective Communication” discussion. With these thoughts in mind I was ready to begin collecting information.
I did an initial search for information on the internet, like I always do, with the search engines “Google and Yahoo”. This pretty much led to a lot of articles that were really marketing attempts by online schools and other providers. I started by typing in the exact wording from the essay assignment “discuss the value, soundness, or impact of online education” Since the search results are displayed by the volume of searches, it showed me that this particular essay has been assigned quite frequently.
While there were quite a few news articles on the subject, there were also other listings offering to sell me an essay. This led me to believe that I had to try and find an approach which viewed this differently than the information I had found up to that point. I am sure you have seen thousands of variations of this essay and I thought I needed to find something to make it interesting.
I failed to find what I was looking for in my original search, so my next step was to try the library references from the Thomas Edison website. I initially had trouble determining the log in for VALE database. Once I accomplished logging in I selected the first link shown which was EBSCOhost. This opened a listing of 12 databases I could choose from. I decided to try the “ERIC” database that was mentioned in our handbook, (Hacker and Fister) because it...