The Research Process

Use the following steps of the Big 6 Information Problem Solving Model to guide you through the research process. 

Step 1. Task Definition 

What do I need to do? What are the requirements? 
What questions do I need to answer? Focus on the essential question.
What should my end product be? What is my topic?
When is the project due? How will it be graded?
What do I already know and what information will I need to find?
Juniors, click here for a list of research project ideas

Step 2. Information Seeking Strategies & 

Step 3. Location & Access

How will I find the information I need?
What resources will I need?
How will I determine that my sources are valid?

Recommended Resources 

  • Reliable Web Sites
    • If you are using a search engine, like Google, to search the Internet, YOU must determine if the information is reliable. How? By evaluating your sources. Use this rubric to help you determine if a website is an appropriate source for your research.
    • Website Evaluation Rubric

Step 4. Information Use 

Read, listen, view. Pull out the information applicable to your topic.
Take notes!  Paraphrase and summarize in your own words. Whether you are using index cards taking notes digitally, it is important to rephrase the ideas you find in your own words to avoid plagiarism. Here are some digital note-taking tools: 

Cite your sources!  
Remember to cite your sources as you go. Visit our Citation Page for more information about giving credit using the MLA8 format. 

Step 5. Synthesis

Put your information together into a final product.
Write a paper - This site about 6 Trait Writing can help you break down the writing process and make it easier to understand.
Create a podcast - Use Quick Time's audio recording feature on your MacBook.
Create a video
 - You can employ Photo Booth or Quick Time to tell your story. iMovie can be used for editing.  
Create a presentation - You have many options for creating a presentation. Power Point and Keynote are available on your MacBook. Google Slides and Prezi are two of many online options.

Step 6. Evaluation 

If your teacher gave you a rubric or grading checklist, use it to make sure you've included everything before submitting your final product.
What did I learn?
What worked well?
What will I do differently next time? 

     The Big 6 helps you "think about your thinking," a process called metacognition. Planning and thinking about your approach to research will enable you to become a more effective learner.