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ENG101- Healy: Afghanistan

Background Research

Problem: Your group has been tasked with helping farmers from Afghanistan implement more efficient farming practices.

Through research, you will learn about the solutions available to help the farmers.  

The Hunger (Research) Games:

  1. Work through each research task as a cooperative group. Do not move to the next research task until I say go. Refer to this research guide as you work.
  2. Each task has a time limit. Raise your hand when you are ready for your task to be checked. Earn points for accuracy and speed.
  3. Write neatly and ask questions as needed.  

Research Task #1: Identify Important Terms

Your first task is to become familiar with some of the language commonly used to discuss your topic so you can best communicate with the farmers.

  • no-till farming
  • drip irrigation

You can search for these terms using the following library reference database. 

Earn Points: In your own words, provide a brief explanation of each term to the instructor.

Research Task #3: Gathering Background Info

Part #1: With your group, identify a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 5 major concepts or main ideas. Earn one point per major concept or idea. Raise your hand each time you identify one major concept or main idea. You have 5 minutes for Part 1, then stop and wait for instructions.


Part #2. Each group member should identify a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 5 important words or phrases including people or organizations. Each group member should identify a minimum of 2 unfamiliar terms. Provide a definition for each. Earn one point for each word or phrase. You have 7 minutes.

Research Task #5: Create Search Statements

You have developed a great list of keywords, now it’s time to create search statements to use in the library databases.

Earn points: Using your keyword slips, the quotation marks (if needed), & AND connectors, manually create 2 (min) different search statements. Must be properly formed and make sense. Use the blank slips if you need additional keywords. You have 5 minutes for this task.


  • Put exact phrases in quotes
  • Try different combinations of keywords
  • Read your search statement: Does the search statement include the relevant terms for what you are looking for?  Remember you may need to search several times with different search statements.  

Research Task #2: Background Reading

Read the background article below. As you read think about:

  1. Major concepts or main ideas of the article
  2. Important words or phrases including people or organizations
  3. Unfamiliar terms

You have 5 minutes to read the article. Then STOP and wait for instructions. 

Research Task #4: Develop Keyword List

Look at the terms you identified in the previous research task and formulate each one into acceptable database keyword form.

Earn Points:  Identify 5 (min) - 10 (max) different keywords or key phrases and write each on a separate slip of paper. Keywords must be in acceptable database form. Earn one point for each correctly identified and formed keyword. You have 10 minutes for this task.


Keep in mind what makes a good keyword:

  • usually nouns (single words or exact phrases)
  • more specific than general
  • synonyms, related terms, alternate spellings, sometimes antonyms

Research Task #6: Search Databases and Repeat Steps as Needed

Use the search statements to find at least one article in the library database.

  • Revise keywords/search statements as needed
  • Email, print or otherwise save articles to keep track of your research.
  • Use citation tools in the databases, but always double check citations before submitting your assignment.
  • Repeat steps as needed


No time limit. You may work until the end of class. Earn points: Show one relevant article to the instructor.

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