Student Name Due to Mrs. Murray by 3pm on

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Student Name ________________

Due to Mrs. Murray by 3pm on ___________

The purpose of this graded worksheet is to help you to choose the topic for your extended essay and to begin finding resources. Too often, students decide on a topic before they have become familiar with what resources are available or considered what sources are possible. As you fill in the blanks on this sheet, I hope you will discover the enormous number of scholarly resources (books and online databases) that are in the Meadowbrook Library, the Chesterfield County Public Libraries, and the VCU, UR and VSU libraries. Remember that people who can be interviewed are also good resources.

Planning Your Extended Essay
In the space below, write down some ideas (these are not binding!) that you might want to explore in your extended essay. You can start with topics that are too broad or too narrow and work your way to an ideal statement of your topic. If you have trouble getting started, see me. 


B. Finding Meadowbrook Resources

1. Go to the Meadowbrook Library Catalog and type in your subject. Look through the book titles you find.  If there are no titles on your subject, type in The Art of Matrix.  Give the following info about one of the books you find:
Call Number: ___________________________ Author: _________________________
2. From the home page, click on Online Databases, then School Access. If you want to go to these databases from home, you will be asked for a Patron number (your 7-digit student number) and a PIN (the last 4 digits of your student number). Click on SIRS Knowledge Source and then Quick Search. Type a word in the search blank. If you get no results, go back and change your Quick Search to a keyword search (instead of a subject search).  If you still get no results, do a keyword search for "arranged marriage" and use quotation marks.

What is the headline of an article you found in SIRS? ____________________________

3. Still in SIRS, click on Database Features. Look at the choices and see if any of them might apply to your topic.  Write the headline of one article you find in the Database Features. 


 OR  If you think none of the Database Features would be useful for you, click on Literary Corner and then Online E-books. Click on one author and write one of the book titles provided: (author)________________ (title)______________________________________.

4. Go back to the page that lists all of MBK’s online databases and choose Thomson-Gale High Schools. Of the several databases listed, choose one, and find any article that could be related to your topic. Write the headline below:
5. In Student Resource Center, do an Advanced Search. Fill in the search blanks as necessary and then limit the results by document type and choose Primary Document. (If you don’t get any results, try Plan B.)  If you do, write one headline here:


Plan B (do this only if you got no results for # 5 above): Type in Kennedy as a keyword.  Limit the results by document type and choose Primary Document.  You should see 5 documents.  Write the title of one of them: _____________________________________________________________________________

C. Finding Chesterfield County Public Library Resources

6. From the MBK Library Home Page, click on the button for the Chesterfield Public Library or type the URL in the address bar (it is on your public library card):
Do a Subject or Word search for your topic and write the requested information below:
Call number: _____________________ Author: ______________________________
Did you know you can request – online - that the book be sent to the Meadowdale Branch? You must provide your Barcode (the P number on your library card) and your PIN, which you must register – it is not related to your MBK student ID.


D. Using University Libraries

In years past, I have made arrangements for you to use the resources in the libraries of VCU, University of Richmond and Virginia State University. You can navigate to these catalogs from the Chesterfield Public Library home page by clicking on Other Libraries. Go to the catalogs for VCU (click on “VCU Libraries Catalog”) and UR. For each library, find one resource and provide the information requested below:




Title: _____________________________________________________________________

Call Number: ______________________________________________________________

(this will be a lot longer than the Dewey numbers you are used to)

Author(s): __________________________________________________________________


Title: _____________________________________________________________________

Call Number: _______________________________________________________________
Author(s): __________________________________________________________________


This list of databases is provided by the Library of Virginia.  Sometimes it is easier to access from home than our own databases.  I include it here just so you are aware of the address.




F. Google Docs - a great new tool

 Unfortunately, this site is currently blocked from school - so you cannot do this here - but I want you to know

 about it since it could be SO useful.  If you are doing this at home, go to and 

 create your own account.  Print the page that appears after you have set up your account.  Attach it to this





 G. Using your Questia account

    9. Go to and sign in.  Click on Work and then on Manage Projects.  Create a new project 

    entitled Extended Essay Practice.  Do a search for your topic. (If you find nothing on your topic, try a

    search on "fractal geometry.")  Choose one paragraph to quote/cite, and print it (for free).  Attach it to this


H. Interviewing an Expert
10. Who is one person you might interview about your topic? You may have to be really creative here – not a bad thing – and figure out how to contact someone by e-mail or find, for instance, a survivor of the Cambodian purges of Pol Pot or a survivor of a human rights violator – or a Nobel Laureate who might happen to teach at VCU....
________________________________ and I would contact him/her (by what method):

I. Giving Credit

FYI: you know all about giving proper credit and citing your sources. There are some helpful hints, especially about citing online sources, if you go to the Thomson-Gale High Schools databases, click on Student Resource Center- Silver, then Help, then Citing Online Sources.

You may also find some help at Then click on MLA Style and then Frequently Asked Questions about MLA Style. Another useful site ( a “works cited” generator) is the Citation Machine, found at 


11. Go to the Citation Machine and generate one “works cited” entry for any of the sources listed on this sheet. After you have clicked “make citations,” copy and paste your entry into a Word document, print it (for free), and attach it to this worksheet.

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