English 101

Research Log

UNIV 200Online, Notter

The Research Log gives you a place to track your research process by a] recording source publication information, b] summarizing main source ideas, and c] reflecting on the source ideas.  Log entries will be the foundation of the upcoming synthesis assignment, which in turn builds the framework of your research essay.


  • Eight [8] sources are required, and at least three [3] of those must be scholarly.
  • Structure log entries using the category headings shown below. [Also see the sample on Canvas.]
  • The Summary and Relevance categories should each be at least one or two paragraphs each.
  • If you use any wording directly from the source, be sure to quote it and give a page citation.
  • If you use a book, focus on one relevant chapter in one log entry, not the entire book. Also, do not use one book for all or even most of the entries.  [Ask me if you have questions about book/e-book sources.]
  • Apply the CRAAP test to sources before including them here. If a source does not pass the test, you probably do not want to spend your time writing about it in a Research Log.
  • Number the entries, starting with 1 the first week, and ending with 8 on the last.
  • Each source entry should be approximately one full page, double-spaced, at minimum.


Research Log Categories: [Please use the headings below for each entry, in the order shown.]

RESEARCH QUESTION:  Write out your current research question after the heading on page one.  [This needs to be done only once per document, not on each source entry.]


Write the source citation in correct MLA or APA format.  [Use one styleconsistently.]



Write a brief OBJECTIVE summary of the source.  Identify the author’s main claim in your first sentence.  Then explain the other main points or reasons and the major supporting evidence.  Be sure to explain what the author actually says about the topic, not just the general topic itself.  [for example, NOT: “Jensen explains the importance of biodiversity,” BUT “Jensen claims that biodiversity ensures the health of whole ecosystems.”]  As in the Jensen example, use signal phrases to connect sources to their ideas.  Use quotation marks and page citations for any wording that is not your own.Cutting and pasting an article abstract is plagiarism.  The goal of this section is for you to understand and explain, in your own words, what the sources are saying.

Remember–a summary does not include your ideas or evaluation; it objectively explains the author’s ideas.



Discusshow the source changes, develops, or expands your thinking about your research question and your project in general.  What did the source teach you?  Did it raise more questions?  How might this source fit into your paper? Are you starting to understand something better after reading this source?What do the source publication and the author’s credentials suggest about the source’s credibility?  Address any particular strengths or weaknesses you see in the source.

Research Log Reflection #1

UNIV 200


This process assignment will help you to reflect on relationships among your sources.  It should also give you some ideas for future research, so save the answers and refer to them as you research for the second Research Log assignment.


  • After you finish Research Logs 1 and 2, look at thesources you have so far andanswer the following questions about them.


  • Take no more than about 15 minutes to answer; in a face-to-face course we would do this in class when you turn in the first Research Logs.


  • You may copy the questions and answer them as a text submission in the Canvas assignment, or you may answer them on a separate document that you upload.


  • Be sure to include the questions in either a text submission or a document upload.




Class Section:


1] What is your best source and why is it the best source so far?



2] What do your articles seem to be saying to each other?   What are the articles agreeing on?  Disagreeing?[For example, are you finding any conflicting evidence or opinions yet?  If so, what are the conflicts?  If not, try to find an article that gives conflicting views for your next R. Log assignment.  Some alternative ideas are required for your final paper to be successful.]



3] What common subtopics or categories do your articles address?  List them.  Start looking for categories of information you find within your sources.  This will help you organize your final paper.



4] What words from these sources might become key words when searching for sources this week?

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