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Common Core W.CCR.8 Explained

By Dave Stuart Jr.

W.CCR.8 — that’s the 8th College and Career Readiness anchor standard within the Writing strand of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for ELA/Literacy — reads as follows:

Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.

This standard is the second part of the “Research to Build and Present Knowledge” trio of anchor standards (W.CCR.7-9). Since the three somewhat overlap, I’m just going to touch on aspects of W.CCR.8 that make it unique.

Get relevant info from multiple sources

Here are some questions I’d use to get my students discussing and problem-solving for this skill:

  • How do we gather information on a question from multiple sources?
  • What’s the point of using multiple sources when we’re pursuing a research question?
  • How do we find information that is relevant to our research question?
  • What can I do if my first Google search doesn’t turn up the kind of information I was looking for?
  • How do search engines like Google work?
    • This is a bit nerdy, but my 9th grade students take an interest in it; basically, few people are totally sure how Google ranks its search results (their algorithm is their golden goose, you could say), but we know it looks for things like how long a site has been around, how many indexed pages it has, how many other sites link to the site, and how frequently the site uses whatever words you’re searching for.
  • How do I organize information once I’ve got it? In other words, how do I gather it?

Assess the credibility/accuracy of each source

This is a digital reading skill: how do we determine if an online source is credible? I discuss this process in my post on R.CCR.7.

As far as accuracy goes, I remind students: accuracy is not guaranteed by credibility — just take a look at the corrections page of the New York Times.

Integrate info without plagiarizing

Here’s where pen meets paper in W.CCR.8 — how do we take the info we’ve gathered and vetted and incorporate it into our research pieces? There are reading, writing, and thinking skills that answer this question; the writing skills are:

  • Using quotations effectively
  • Paraphrasing effectively
  • Citing, both in-text and in a works cited or reference page

In sum, W.CCR.8 is pretty standard fare, but also pretty croosch (short for crucial) for college and career readiness. (Give your followers something beautiful and life-changing: tweet this.)

All right, awesome teachers of the virtual professional learning network (PLN), what techniques do you use to teach any of the above skills?

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2 Responses to Common Core W.CCR.8 Explained

  1. deborahbriggs May 24, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    I use IIM: Independent Investigation Method. It is aligned with CCSS and gives me a way to effortlessly teach plagiarism free research skills.

  2. davestuartjr May 29, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    Deborah, thanks for pointing me towards this resource — I did some Googling and it seems legit! I look forward to playing around with it next school year 🙂

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