Teaching Students Correct Research Skills

When I was a kid, good research meant spending hours in the library looking through encyclopedias and other sources to find information to summarize and to include a few key quotes for my paper. With the Internet, information is at our fingertips. However, there is so much at our fingertips, and not everything we read on the Internet is valid. Therefore, research skills also include the ability to search for and evaluate valid and reliable sources.


Even the Arizona College and Career Ready Standards (known as the Common Core in other states) includes this in the standards.

Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
image by Tracy Watanabe


There are many great lessons that are already created for teaching Internet searching and evaluating the validity of the sites. Here’s a few:

Final thoughts

Research by Coiro and Leu shows that while students are comfortable navigating with technology, it does not mean they have the literacy skills required to be successful today and in the future. Therefore, teachers must explicitly teach those skills.

  • What resources and lessons would you add to this list?
  • How do you teach your students (or staff) explicit research and literacy skills that will prepare them for today and tomorrow?
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