The Research Process

Spring Hill Middle School Library recommends using the Big 6 Information Problem Solving Model to guide you through the research process.  The Big 6 helps you "think about your thinking." Planning and thinking about your approach to research will help you become a more effective learner. 

Step 1. Task Definition 

What are the assignment requirements? Check the teacher's grading rubric!
How will it be graded? Check the teacher's grading rubric!
When is the project due? 
What is my topic?
What do I already know about this topic?
What new information will I need to find? 


Step 2. Information Seeking Strategies 

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

Check out this helpful Presentation for evaluating websites.


Step 3. Location & Access

     A.  Search the Library Catalog.

          Destiny Online Catalog

     B.  State Library Databases. 

**Helpful hints for using the State Databases**         

  • Use the limiters in the left column to refine your search.
  • Always choose "Full Text."
  • Ask your teacher if there is a "Source Type" you should be using.
  • "Lexile Level" will help you find articles on a lower or higher level.
  • Remember: HTML has the read aloud feature. 
  • Can't access the state library databases at home?  Stop by the library or email Mrs. Cheek to get your Kansas State Library eCard.

     C.  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 Website Evaluation Guide to determine if the website you've found is going to be a good site for research.


Step 4:  Information Use

Read, listen, view. 
Pull out the information applicable to your topic.

     Take Notes!

     Cite Your Sources!

Create the citation for each source as you are using the source.  You can create a digital document using the following online tool:

     Citation Maker

Can't remember where to find the information you need for a citation? Check out this short Presentation.


Step 5:  Synthesis

Put your information together into a final product. If your teacher gave you specific options for your project, be sure you understand all the requirements before you hand in anything. 


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? 

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