Use the Big 6™ Research Process

Big6™ Skills Overview (see Powerpoint Below)
Complete and print out Big6 Organizer (or use simplified version below)


1. Task Definition
1.1 Define the information problem
1.2 Identify information needed in order to complete the task (to solve the information problem)

Review the assignment to determine the requirements given by your teacher. List the major requirements in your own words to make sure you understand what is expected. Consider details such as how many sources are required, how many pages, report format, etc.

Look up your topic in a dictionary to make sure you have it spelled correctly. Write down the definition. Also look in a Thesaurus to determine any Synonyms for your topic. Both a Dictionary and Thesaurus are available online at: Mirriam Webster.
If you are researching a person or an event that is not in a dictionary, try looking in and encyclopedia to find basic information such as Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? Try Ebsco

Username: western
password: pioneers

Print out and Complete your idea cluster (see attached document below):
Narrow your topic by listing specific questions about your topic that you would like to answer. The Search Engine Ask.com can help you narrow your search. Ask your question in natural language and Ask.com will match your request with more specific questions. It also gives a list to the right of related topics http://www.ask.com/
Browsing a directory such as Yahoo or Librarian’s Internet Index might also help you narrow your topic.

Print out and Complete your Keyword Search Plan (see attached document below):
Use information from the dictionary, thesaurus and your idea cluster to think of alternative ways to search on your topic. (Ask.com can help you with this information)

2. Information Seeking Strategies
2.1 Determine the range of possible sources (brainstorm)
2.2 Evaluate the different possible sources to determine priorities (select the best sources)

Possible Sources:
Places: school library, public library, home resources, non-profit organizations or businesses, field trips…

People: parent, teacher, librarian, friend, community member (personal interviews or help)…

Information: dictionary, encyclopedia, books on the subject, Internet (Use Noodletools to find the best search engine), subscription databases available through the school’s website: Ebsco, pictures, radio broadcasts, online books),
Our school’s subscription services (see the links page):

Helpful Hints:
• When you use the Internet as a resource, make sure you can identify who is creating or sponsoring the website. If you can’t tell, don’t use it. The information may not be accurate (See the Website Evaluation Page for More Information).

3. Location and Access
3.1 Locate sources (intellectually and physically)
3.2 Find information within sources
Don’t forget these helpful hints when searching for information:
• Look up people by their last name
• You don’t have to find a whole book on the subject, for example, you might find information on “snakes” in a book about reptiles or an animal encyclopedia. Think about broader categories your topic might fit into.
• Always check the index first to see if your topic is in the book (the index is usually in the back of the book). The Table of Contents may also give you some help in finding your topic in a book.
• Don’t wait until the last minute to do your research!

4. Use of Information
4.1 Engage (e.g., read, hear, view, touch) the information in a source
4.2 Extract relevant information from a source
This involves actually reading your sources and taking notes. Check with your teacher on how you should be taking notes: note cards, note taking worksheets, double journal, etc. Make sure you get bibliographic information for your Works Cited Page.

Helpful hints:
• This part usually takes the most time.
• Sometimes you will have to change the focus (broaden or narrow) of your topic when you discover you can’t find all the information you need.

5. Synthesis
5.1 Organize information from multiple sources
5.2 Present the information
This is the part where you actually write the report. If you have performed good research, this should be the easiest part! Make sure you review the assignment requirements before starting, so you remember what to do.
Be sure to use the AUHSD Research Paper Guidelines.

6. Evaluation
6.1 Judge the product (effectiveness)
6.2 Judge the information problem-solving process (efficiency)

Before you turn in your work, you should review it for the following:
• My work is typed
• I have used spell check and grammar check on my document
• I have followed the AUHSD Research Paper Guidelines
• I have given credit for my sources in a Works Cited Page
• I have proof read my finished project at least 2 times
• I have reread the directions to make certain everything is done correctly
• I think about my work and how I can improve on the next assignment