Paper or Plastic?
ESU201  II. Research

  !   Move your cursor over each image to reveal the items that are packed into each grocery bag. This is just one example of an experiment you might conduct to determine the relative merit of paper and plastic bags.

Bryan L. Aivazian

Step II is research—the gathering of information supporting all sides of the question. The list of ideas that you generated in Step I will help guide your collection of information and ensure that you cover a wide range of issues related to the question. You don't want to spend a lot of your time searching for information on a single topic and then not have time to research other important issues. If one topic doesn't pan out, move on to another.

Research methods you might use:

  • Internet research: a list of Internet links is provided at the end of the investigation
  • perform your own Internet searches based on topics you listed from Step I
  • conduct interviews with local resource people (store managers who purchase bags, landfill operators who see what happens to bags, environmental groups, scientists)
  • consult traditional book resources from your school or local library
  • conduct your own experiments on plastic and paper bags (capacity, strength, etc.)

Be sure to keep a log of all the information you research. Also, record the full reference for all information collected. This log should also be turned in with your final product.

2. In a single sentence, summarize the goal of this step. Record your ideas for research methods based on your interests and the resources available to you.

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