Research Guide

Research Process

Here you will find handouts and video tutorials on every step of the research process. Following these steps will help you to focus and stay organized while doing your research.

Research will be easier and more effective when approached as a process. Often, the stages in the process can be repeated, and the whole process can also become a cycle. This process is called the Big6 Research Process.

For additional help, please contact Mrs. Lee:

Big6 Research Process

Define: Task Definition (Step 1)

1) Define the Topic: What do I want to learn? What do I already know?

2) Do Background Research: How can I get to know my topic?

        • Search the reference databases below for background information on your topic:

3) Develop a Research Question: What question do I want to answer?

4) Thesis Statement

Plan: Information Seeking Strategies (Step 2)

1) Make a list of all possible sources and select the best ones for your research topic.

          • Resource Checklist

2) Basic Search Tips: What keywords can I use to search for information on my topic?

          • How to Generate Keywords (Example)
          • How to Generate Keywords (Blank Handout)

Find: Locate and Access Resources (Step 3)

1) Library Catalog

2) Databases

          • Databases
          • Basic Searching (Video)
          • Advanced Searching (Video)
          • Advanced Searching Techniques: Boolean Searching and Truncation (Handout)

3) Google

          • Basic Google Searching (Video)
          • Advanced Google Searching (Video)

4) Primary Sources

5) Evaluate Sources: How do I know if a source is credible and appropriate for research?

Create: Use of Information (Step 4)

1) Take Notes

          • Note Taking Template (Example)
          • Note Taking (Blank Handout)
          • Directly Quoting Borrowed Information
          • Paraphrasing Borrowed Information

2) Cite Sources: How can I document the sources I find?

          • Citation and Copyright
          • EasyBib
          • Plagiarism
          • Plagiarism Video
          • Annotated Bibliography- How to Create

Present: Organizing, Synthesizing and Sharing Information (Step 5)

1) Organizing Tools:

2) Sample Paper (MLA Format)

3) Sample Paper (APA Format)

Reflect: Evaluation (Step 6)

Does your product (written paper, oral presentation, multimedia presentation, performance, etc.) meet (or exceeds) the assignment requirements?