Research Methods

MCSM Library

Big6™ Summary and Project Information Sheet

 

The Big6 Skills™

Step 1 - Task Definition

1.1 Define the problem

1.2 Identify the information requirements of the problem

In this step the student must figure out exactly what the assignment entails.  They must define what the topic is, what is required of them, and what they need to do in order to complete this assignment. This step also allows the student to identify the final product (i.e. oral presentation, written report, etc) and the specifications of that final product (i.e. length of paper, duration for oral presentation, due date, etc).

 

Step 2 - Information Seeking Strategies

2.1 Determine the range of possible sources

2.2 Evaluate the different possible sources to determine priorities

In this step, students should identify all of the sources needed to find the necessary information and assess which sources would be best to use. 

Step 3 - Location and Access

3.1 Locate sources

3.2 Find information within the sources

In this step, students should identify where the sources defined in step 2 are located and how to best access them to extract the information they need for their assignment. 

 

Step 4 - Use of Information

4.1 Engage (read, hear, view, touch) the information in the source

4.3 Extract information from a source

In this step, students should evaluate the usefulness of the information obtained from their chosen sources.

 

Step 5 - Synthesis: Putting it all together

5.1 Organize information from multiple sources

5.2 Create a product or performance

In this step, students take all of the information that they have obtained from their chosen sources and organize it in a way that makes the best sense for completing the final product.

   

Step 6 - Evaluation

6.1 Judge the product or performance

6.2 Judge the information-solving process

In this step, students can evaluate and reflect of how well the methods they chose worked in the completion of their final product.  Lessons learned can be noted and improved upon for next time.

 

Step 1 - Task Definition

 

What is your final product (book report, research paper, representational model, etc.) _______________________________________________________

 

What is your topic?_________________________________________________

 

Does it have to be a certain length, size, or duration of time?   _____________

 

What is the due date for the final product?_____________________________

 

What are the key words or key phrases I can use to get the information I need?

 

List at least 5 key words: ____________________________________________

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Brainstorm a list of at least four questions you need to answer for this project: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

What kinds of information will you need? (Biographies, non-fiction books, maps, the Internet, etc.) _____________________________________________

 

Will you need a bibliography? _______________________________________


Step 2 - Information Seeking Strategies

 

What are all the sources I could use to get the information I need, if I had unlimited time and money? Make a List of Possible Sources for ideas.

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What sources on my wish list are the best and most possible for me to use for this assignment? (Check off the sources on your list that are possible for you to use, given your time frame and budget.)


Step 3 - Location and Access

 

Where do I go to find each of the sources I want to use?

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How can I find what I need in these places?

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Who can help me find what I need?

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How do I find the information I need within the sources? Helpful Hint: Every source has its own system of organization. Check out the way each one is organized when you start using it. Look for the index and table of contents. Get help if you need it. Go back to your list of keywords and phrases to help direct your search for information.

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Step 4 - Use of Information

 

Is the information in-depth enough for me? Or is it too superficial (simple)? __________________________________________________

 

Does the information give you answers to your questions? __________________________________________________________

 

Does the information give you new ideas, or lead you to other sources?____________________________________________________

 

Is the information given in the types of formats you need (maps, dates, graphics, etc.)?_______________________________________________

 

Can I understand the information?_____________________________

(Is it in a language you can understand? Is it too scientific or technical? does it use too much specialized language that you don't understand? If the language is not right for you, look for the same information in other sources. If you cannot find any, ask a librarian to help you. There is always information available for both experts and non- experts in most topics.)

 

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What information can I use? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

This is a good time to go back and recheck your task, your specific assignment. Then compare your assignment against the information you have found. Answer the following questions:

 

1. Does the information included in the source help me complete my task?

• If it does, then you will be able to start "extracting" the information. (see letter "C" next)

• If it does not, you will need to look for information in other sources.

 

2. Does the information in the source give me additional ideas that make me want to change my original thesis?

• If you find that there is much too much information on your topic, you may want to narrow down your topic (see appendix (?) -Focusing a Research Topic ).

• If you are not finding enough material on your topic, you will want to go through the same process to broaden your topic (make it larger to include more material).

 

 How will I get the information out of the source?

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 (Note-taking, Photocopying, Printing from a computer source,  Videotaping, Tape recording, Interviewing or tape-recording, Photographing, Scanning (requires a scanning device), Drawing or sketching, etc.)

 

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Step 5 - Synthesis: Putting it all together

How can I put all of the information together to present what I have learned? What presentation format does my assignment require? (paper, poster, oral presentation, etc.) Go back and review your assignment sheet to be sure of what is required.

 

·         What materials do I need in order to put together my presentation? Make a list.

·         Bring all of your notes, images, disks, artifacts, etc., together into one place.

·         Have all of the tools you need to put it together; paper and pencil, computer & disk, poster board, etc.

·         Work at a place where you can spread out and concentrate.

·         Give yourself the time you need to make a rough draft, edit it and make a final copy before the work is due.

       

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Step 6 – Evaluation

 

Is this paper any good?

You should be the first person to evaluate your own work. After that, you could ask a classmate or family member to look it over. That way when you turn it in to the teacher to evaluate and grade, you will know it is the best work that you wanted to do.

 

Is my task finished?  Did I complete the assignment given by the teacher?

Go back and review the assignment sheet again to be sure.

 

q     Make sure that you have completed all the parts.

q     Make sure that they are in the proper order.

q     Make sure that you have identified the project with you name, your teacher's name, the date and any title if it applies. 

 

How did you do?

This evaluation depends on a lot of different criteria. Some of the criteria might be written by the teacher in the assignment. Here is a list of the common sense criteria to evaluate for yourself:

 

q     Correct spelling

q     Overall neatness

q     Parts in a logical and correct order, nothing missing

q     Borrowed material properly cited

q     Any thesis statements or arguments have been supported

 

Once you have evaluated your work, you are ready to turn it in, by the due date.

Remember: Teachers will usually take off points for late work.

 

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