Posts Tagged ‘research papers’

5 ProQuest Resources for Research Paper Season

Research paper season is in full swing at high schools across the country. ProQuest offers many resources across various products to make this time of year less stressful for students and education professionals. Let’s take a look at five popular features.

1. The Educator Activities Pinterest Board  pulls together resources from numerous ProQuest products to offer teachers activities and worksheets that can be used in the classroom. From Science Experiments to Common Core Handouts, all facets of the research spectrum are covered.

2. ProQuest Research Companion is an entire product dedicated to guiding students through the research process and helping them develop critical thinking and information literacy skills. Nine Learning Modules provide answers to questions such as “How do I choose a topic?” and “How do I evaluate resources?”

iThink Skills Tutor on ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher

iThink Skills Tutor on ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher

3.  The Student Tools section in SIRS Issues Researcher highlights two features to help users conduct research. My Analysis breaks the research and writing process down into six easy to follow steps, while the iThink tutor is an interactive tool to assist users on their research path.

4.  In addition to the Student Tools offered in SIRS Issues Researcher, the Educators’ Resources section provides a number of handouts and videos that can be used in the classroom. The Human Element video and the SIRS vs. Google and the Open Web activity demonstrate the editorial advantage of using a database like SIRS.

5.  Once students have selected a topic, they can turn to SIRS Issues Researcher or eLibrary for comprehensive coverage. Leading Issues in SIRS Issues Researcher provides background and current analysis of social issues through Topic Overviews, Essential Questions and viewpoint articles. Research Topics in eLibrary pull together content on a particular issue, event or person to save users time in the research process.

These are just a handful of the products and features ProQuest offers to make completing that research paper a little less stressful.

Which features do you find the most useful? Comment below or tweet us at #ProQuest.

5 Prewriting Activities to Prevent Writer’s Block

Created by Christie Riegelhaupt with Canva


It is every student’s nightmare. A deadline for a research paper looms, but a laptop screen stays blank. We’ve all experienced it: writer’s block. Writer’s block is often a symptom of being unprepared.

Much attention is given to the actual act of writing, but we often forget that prewriting is essential to successful writing. Prewriting—as the name implies—is the process that precedes writing. It includes researching, brainstorming, and planning. Prewriting exercises can help prevent writer’s block and, in turn, free students from needless frustration.

There are no wrong answers to prewriting exercises. The goal is to explore a research topic. Eventually, interesting ideas and questions will emerge, which will lead to a well-developed research thesis.




Start with a topic and then list words related to the main topic. Keep listing until ideas run out. Circle words that are worth pursing further.




Image by Jeff Wyman via Microsoft Word

Similar to listing, clustering is great for visual learners. Start with a topic and then branch off with related words. Keep branching until ideas run out.



Start free writing with a sentence that summarizes a topic. Then write anything that comes to mind about a topic. Forget about spelling and grammar. Writing well is not the goal; brainstorming is. Just write. Specify duration and don’t stop until time is up.



Sometimes students need structure. Journalistic questions are a great place to start. Ask and answer: who, what, when, where, why, and how?



Prewriting need not involve writing at all. Discussion among peers can inspire great ideas. Discussion can also be used in tandem with other prewriting exercises (i.e. make a list while discussing).


What prewriting activities do you use in the classroom? Tell us in the comments section below or Tweet us at #ProQuest.

Anatomy of a Leading Issue

SIRS Issues Researcher offers in-depth analysis of more than 330 current and pervasive Leading Issues. Each Leading Issue offers various components to help users understand the issue from every angle. Let’s take a look at each component:

Leading Issue

Screencap of a Leading Issue via ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher

 Topic Overview: An editorially created summary provides the foundation for understanding every Leading Issue by examining the background and history of the issue and putting it in context. From the Topic Overview page, users can also access “Terms to Know” and “Additional Resources” including significant organizations, key figures and milestone events surrounding the issue.

 At Issue Summary: This summary also provides a foundation for understanding an issue by zeroing in on a narrower issue within the context of a larger issue. From the At Issue page, users can also access Perspectives—quotes from prominent figures—and Critical Thinking & Analysis questions.

 Essential Questions: These questions engage researchers by narrowing down a broad issue and helping users understand the specific issue under debate. Each Essential Question offers answers and Viewpoint articles which support both sides of an issue.

 Timeline: An editorially curated timeline provides historical context by highlighting key events and milestones surrounding the issue.

● Global Impact & Statistics: These two features broaden student comprehension by examining an issue from a non-U.S. perspective and by providing data that users can analyze and compare.

These are just a sampling of the special features that SIRS Issues Researcher offers. With access to full-text articles, multimedia and graphics, SIRS covers Leading Issues from the pro to the con and everything in between.

Need Research Topics?

Research is part of the curriculum at every level. Often the most difficult part of research is getting started and deciding on a topic of a paper or project. Regardless if a student is in middle school, high school, or community college, ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher has a topic for them.

As Butte College Library explains in their helpful video, the 330+ Leading Issues can be easily browsed by topic name. Then to discover a topic of interest, a student can drill down to get more information.

Clicking on any topic in the A-Z list will bring students to a topic overview, timeline, related viewpoint articles, and other features.

Scaffolded Instruction: Leading Issues are scaffolded for different learning needs. A middle school student may choose the majority of research from the topic overview and selected viewpoint articles whereas a high school or college student will start at the overview then dig deeper in the results list for more advanced informational text.

So have your students start their research the easy way with Leading Issues. Your next topic is just a click away.