05The Discovery Journal

by Danny K. Howard, EAP Associate Director

At NIC, students learn that researching leads to discovery, and this is a very important point of improving their study skills. Every year, NIC teachers notice that many new students have no experience using the Internet to search for information. This journal’s purpose is 1) to help students to learn these important researching skills and 2) to help them discover information that they want to know. Students often have questions and they usually look to the teacher for answers. However, this journal will help you answer some of your own questions for yourself.

Materials Needed:

A journal, access to the Internet, a strong desire for knowledge

What to do:

Step One: Think of Questions

In your journal, try to write out several questions that you want to research and discover. Here are some sample questions:

  1. What is the most popular national park in America?
  2. What is the largest dog?
  3. Who was the youngest person to win an Oscar?
  4. When did Hollywood begin making movies?
  5. Which country has the smallest population?

Step Two: Select and Research

Choose a question from the ones that you wrote above and begin to research it. For our example, let’s choose Question Number 2 above.

Now use an Internet search engine to research your answer. Below are two very popular ones:
http://www.yahoo.com or http://www.google.com

Below is an example of a search engine. Just type in a key word that will help the search engine find information about your topic. Since we chose number two, let’s try the key words: 
largest & dog.

Step Three: Take Notes from the Info

You should visit many websites to find out information, and you should take notes on what you find. Write out your notes in your journal.

Step Four: Submit a Report of your Discovery

Now that you have taken notes to answer your question, write a short 50-100 word report to explain your findings. Write the report in English.

Here’s a sample report for Question Number 2.

What is the largest dog?
The largest dog in the world is the Irish Wolfhound. This is a very powerful dog and it comes from Ireland. This dog has very big muscles and a long tail. It looks like a Greyhound with lots of shaggy hair. Even though some dog breeds are heavier, the Irish Wolfhound is much taller in size than any other dog. Some of them stand more than 150 centimeters. When the Romans were introduced to this dog, they were very impressed by its size and manner.

Then when you finish, try to research another question. Fill up your journal with lots of discovery research! By doing this a lot, you increase your Internet researching skills and help yourslef to discover many things around you. Try it out!