The Big 6 Research Process

Note: These steps are not necessarily performed in the following exact order but "recursively," as you revise your strategies and adapt them to your search results. You may need to go back to some questions several times.
Big 6 Steps
Critical thinking questions for each step
Resources

Task Definition


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TASK DEFINITION
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D1.1 Define the information problem.
D1.2 Identify information needed in order to complete the task
  • What is my question or problem? Is it focused?
  • Do I understand the assignment requirements?
  • Does my topic really interest me?
  • What information do I need?
  • What do I already know?
  • What more do I need to find out?
  • How will I be assessed? Is there a rubric for the project?
Question Brainstormer - Google Docs Template
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Essential ? Presentation. Click to view.
===Information Seeking Strategies
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INFORMATION SEEKING STRATEGIES

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D2.1 Determine the range of possible sources (brainstorm).
D2.2 Evaluate the different possible sources to determine priorities
  • Where can I find the information I need?
  • Do I need specialized information like statistics or data?
  • Which databases are the best choices?
  • Which search tools should I use on the Web?
  • Do I need primary sources, journal articles, maps, etc?
  • Should I seek an expert in my topic?
  • What kind of media might I need? Images? Video? Audio?
  • Have I evaluated my sources for credibility, currency and bias?
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Information Sources
District 51 Online Catalog

EMS Databases

EMS Ready Reference

Evaluation Strategies
Nonfiction Book Evaluation Form

Website Evaluation

Location and Access


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LOCATION and ACCESS
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D3.1 Locate sources (intellectually and physically).
D3.2 Find information within sources.
  • What keywords or subject headings should I use for my search?
  • Do the resources I found really answer my questions?
  • Do I have a method of saving my sources for access later?
  • Are my sources specific and detailed enough for my research?
  • Is the information appropriate for my reading level and abilities?
  • How will I credit my sources?
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Search Strategies

Use of Information


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USE of INFORMATION
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D4.1 Engage (e.g., read, hear, view, touch)D4.2 Extract relevant information
  • Do I have a strategy for note taking?
  • What kind of map or outline will best help me structure my work?
  • Do I see any patterns emerging in the information I collected?
  • How can I organize this information so that it makes sense?
  • When should I use quotes or paraphrasing?
  • Do I have enough information?
  • Do I have my sources cited?

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Online note taking form (outline)

Another online outline maker

Online webbing tool

Quotes, Paraphrasing and Summarizing

Citation

Synthesis


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SYNTHESIS
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D5.1 Organize from multiple sources>D5.2 Present the information
  • Who is my audience?
  • How can I most effectively share this information with this audience?
  • Would my information be more understandable with images or audio?
  • How can I make my information compelling and interesting?
  • Is my information original? Does it truly reflect what I learned?
  • What do I need to present my information? Equipment? Software?
  • Have I included everything I want to share?
  • Have I proofread, edited and truly finished my project?
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Alternative Research Formats

Cool Tools for School

Evaluation


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EVALUATION
DD6.1 Judge the product (effectiveness)D6.2 Judge the process (efficiency)The product
  • Am I proud of the product? Was it effective?
  • Did I meet the guidelines or follow the rubric for the project?
  • Am I sure I did not plagiarize from any of my sources?
  • Is this the best work I could have done?
The process
  • Did I explore all the available resources and select the best?
  • Did persevere when I was frustrated?
  • Did I manage my time well?
  • Did I ask for help when I needed it?
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