The Research Process

Woodland Spring 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? 
How will it be graded?
When is the project due? 
What is my topic?
What do I already know and what 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 refine your search.
  • Always choose "Full Text."
  • If your topic is too broad, the "Subject" limiter is very useful in narrowing your topic.
  • Use "Advanced Search" to perform a Boolean search, search by publication and many other limiters. 
  • Can't access the state library databases at home?  Stop by the library or 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?