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Research Process

Research Process

The research paper is often dreaded by students. It seems confusing and overwhelming but it is easy if you have a plan and then work the plan.

 One recommended way that students can use to enhance their writing of research papers is to use the Big6 research process. It is a six-step approach to information-problem solving. The plan was designed to make the research assignment less challenging and more rewarding.The steps are simple and pretty easy to follow. There are other models, but the Big6 works well. The steps are:

  1. Task definition - So, do you know what your teacher wants from you? You can't effectively research if you do not have a clear idea of the assignment.
  2. Information seeking strategies - Figure out what types of resources you need to complete the assignment. Do you need books; databases; video? Start with a general source, like an encylcopedia and get background information. Remember start broad and then narrow.
  3. Location and access - Once you have completed these steps you need to find the resources. What library has the source I need? Do I have to use a digital resource, who has access? How about video and audio sources? Gather all that you need to start to find information. Make sure you start a working bibliography.
  4. Use of information - This is the hard part. You have to read, view or listen to the material that you have gathered. You need to start taking notes and it is good idea to add to the bibliography that you have started and make sure all your source notes are complete.
  5. Synthesis - Organize from multiple sources and then present your information. Do you need a term paper, a multimedia production a poster? Which would best fulfill the requirements of the assignment and then produce something that would earn a grade you would be happy receiving.
  6. Evaluation - Did you do a good job with the information? Judge the process (efficiency)- did I have a good working bibliography, did I take good notes?  Then judge the product (effectiveness)- would I show my project to my peers, to my parents? If you do this after each assignment you will get better at the whole process.