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Concordian International School

Personal Project: Criterion A: Investigating

Criterion A: Investigating

  • define a clear goal and a global context for the project based on personal interests
  • identify prior learning and subject specific knowledge about the project
  • demonstrate research skills

Tips & Hints

  • include research notes in your process journal
  • use EasyBib to record details about your sources of information for your bibliography 
  • explore the ATL page and make sure you are showing excellent research skills
  • discuss your research within the Investigating section of your report, including the evaluation of sources (OPVL) 
  • include a variety of research from primary and secondary sources (images, interviews, surveys, experiments, fieldwork, books, websites, journals, film, etc.)

Report Checklist: Investigating


Strand I: Global Context and a Clear Goal

Your Global Context Gives Meaning to These Questions

  • What do I want to achieve through my personal project?
  • What do I want others to understand through my personal project?
  • What impact do I want my personal project to have?
  • How can a specific global context give greater purpose to my personal project?

Fairness & Development

Globalization & Sustainability

Identities & Relationships

Orientation in Space & Time

Personal & Cultural Expression

Scientific & Technical Innovation

Strand II Identify prior learning and subject specific knowledge about the project

Strand III: ATL Skills - Researching Skills

Always logon to your account whenever you sit down to research!

  • New Project --> Personal Project
  • Save your research to EasyBib as you find it--easy to delete if you do not use the source
  1. Interviews 

Yes, you will be interviewing people!  Parents, teachers, owners of businesses, entrepreneurs you come across!  Interviews may be:

  • in person
  • online
  • by video
  • by email

ALL will be entered into your EasyBib!

2. Wikipedia for Research? Maybe yes...

  1. Check Talk Tab for Grade
  2. Any Warning Box?
  3. If a C or better, read paragraphs before Table of Contents for Key Words & "Key Phrases" Write them down! 
  4. Check Table of Contents to narrow topic and go to specific section of interest
  5. Read section of interest 
    1. Add to Key Words and "key phrases"
    2. Click on Footnotes > Use these References for your research!
    3. Check any External Links for specific websites
  6. Never quote or cite a Wikipedia article in academic work!

      In summary, how & when you use Wikipedia:      

  • If graded C or better, use for key words and "key phrases"
  • Use table of contents to narrow and focus topic and find more key terms and footnotes
  • Use appropriate footnotes for resources
  • Use links to off-Wikipedia websites

3. Google Searching

  1. Use your prior knowledge, keywords and "key phrases"  "in quotation marks" from Interviews, Wikipedia, Discussions with Teachers, common knowledge
    1. Ex: "art therapy" 
  2. Use synonyms within parentheses and Boolean OR --->
    1. Ex: (elderly OR seniors)
  3. Combine to make a Search String using Boolean AND: --->
    1. Ex: "art therapy" AND (elderly OR seniors)
  4. Maybe limit the domain?  or
    1. Ex: "art therapy" AND (elderly OR seniors)

              Some of your Topics and possible Search Strings:                

  • 3D imaging – physics/low poly art style
    • “low poly art style” AND 3d
  • Create paint/scent  – chemistry
    • diy AND art AND paint AND scent
  • Chandelier/recycled  materials
    • diy AND recycled AND chandelier
  • DIY Shoes/recycled materials
    • (diy OR create) shoes AND "recycled products"
  • Book holder when lying down
    • "book holder" (bed OR 'lying  down")
  • Business website for air bricks
    • “air bricks”
  • Lip balm - chemistry
    • diy AND "lip balm"
  • Art therapy/elderly
    • “art therapy” AND (elderly OR senior)
  • Lip balm/healing – chemistry, herbs
    • diy herb* "healing balm" 
  • Design clothes, Chinese/Modern 
    • (design or diy) AND clothes 
  • Jewelry w/Christian symbols for Xian missionaries
    • jewelry AND "christian symbols"
  • Recycled scrap metal avian sculpture
    • "scrap metal" AND (sculpture OR art) AND (diy OR create)
  • Workout for healthy life
    • (workout OR exercise) AND "healthy life*)
  • Stock trading online
    • "stock trading" AND online
  • Create gender neutral bracelet
    • "gender neutral" AND bracelet
  • Thai teenage depression/motivational videos
    • "teen depression"
  • Flu protection posters
    • (influenza OR flu) AND (protection OR prevention)
  • Run marathon to raise awareness, encourage health
    • marathon AND "health awareness"

Some suggested databases to start .... then select your field 

Username & Password Sheet in Box Below!

ALSO Check the News Databases below


Thai Language Magazine



Magazines & Journals

The Architectural Review

The Atlantic

Biological Sciences




Forbes (Asia)

Foreign Affairs

Golf Digest


Harvard Business Review



National Geographic

New Scientist

The New York Review of Books

The New Yorker

Popular Mechanics

Popular Science

Psychology Today

Rolling Stone


Scientific American



The Week


World Soccer

Yoga Journal



Bangkok Post

The New York Times - ONLINE

The Wall Street Journal - ONLINE


DP Lounge

The Artist’s Magazine

Art in America

Five Steps for Avoiding Plagiarism

1 First, use your own ideas. It should be your paper and your ideas that should be the focus.
2 Use the ideas of others sparingly--only to support or reinforce your own argument.
3 When taking notes, include complete citation information for each item you use.
4 Use quotation marks when directly stating another person's words.
5 A good strategy is to take 30 minutes and write a short draft of your paper without using any notes. It will help you think through what you want to say and help prevent your being too dependent upon your sources.


From the U. of Idaho, CORE, Module 6

Strand III: ATL Skills - Researching Skills (OPVL)

Analysis of Resources: Origin Purpose Value Limitations

OPVL is an effective tool to analyze primary and secondary source documents.


  Origin is where the source comes from.

  • Is this a primary or secondary source?
  • Who is the author or artist?
  • What date it was written or finished?
  • In which country the author or artist was born?
  • Where was it created?
  • What type of sources was it when it  was first presented (newspaper, book, letter, performance, display, speech, etc.)?
  • What was the historic context in which the source was created?
  • Is there anything known about the author that is important to know to evaluate it? 


Purpose is where you have to put yourself in the author or artist's shoes. The purpose should relate to the origin of the source.

  • What do you think the author was trying to communicate?
  • What ideas or feelings was the author trying to express or make others feel?
  • Why did the author create this document?  Why does it exist?
  • Who was the intended audience of this source? Who was it created for?
  • What is the obvious message of the source? What other messages are there that might not be obvious?
  • The purpose is especially important when it comes to pieces of propaganda as sources.


Value is how valuable this source is. Basically it's linked to the amount of bias in the source:  the more bias = the less valuable (usually). Primary sources are obviously more valuable than secondary/tertiary ones.

  • Why is this source important in the study of this topic?
  • What is an important quote from this source?
  • What value does this source have that might not be available elsewhere?
  • What can one tell about the author of this source?
  • Who does this source represent?
  • What was going on in history when this source was created?
  • What new information does this piece bring to the understanding of the topic?
  • How does this source help me better understand my research question?
  • How does this source help me better understand the topic?


Limitations is also linked to bias, each source will be at least a little biased and thus they are limited by that. Do not state bias alone as a limitation. All sources have bias.

  • Why is this source biased?
  • How is this source biased?
  • Has the source has been translated from the original? (i.e., Hitler's diary entry was  translated into English by a historian and you're using the historian's book as a source)  If so, then the language difference will be another source of inaccuracy and a limitation.
  • What information was not available to the author when the source was created?
  • Did the author get the information from a reliable source?
  • Does the author have reason to emphasize certain facts over other facts?  How might the source be different if it were presented to another audience?\
  • Does the author have personal involvement in the event? How might this effect the source?
  • What specific information might the author has chosen to leave out? Why?
  • Does the author concede that a certain point as is inconvenient for the author to admit?
  • How might the historical context in which the document was created influence the interpretation of the document?
  • What is the length of time between the creation of this source and the topic or event it relates to? How is this time difference important to our study of the topic?
  • What should you be cautious about when using this source?

Thank you to Florida International University!

The following grid can help you understand OPVL by various types of sources

Type of Document






Primary, by author for author, rarely published

To keep memories for later (sometimes with eye to publication)

Eyewitness to event and usually written immediately or shortly after occurred, rarely lies to oneself

Only one person’s view, there will be perspective issues, may be intended for publication therefore can even lie to oneself


Primary, by author or interviewee

To offer an eyewitnesses’ perspective on an event


Length of time between events and recollection can lead to loss of info, or changing of story, always perspective issues to be considered


Usually by expert (often academic historian)

To educate colleagues, students, and the public (can be for monetary gain or promotion file)

Usually many years of primary research in archives and thorough knowledge of secondary works on topic

Always perspective issues, usually not an eyewitness, can err deliberately or accidently, not vey useful for quick overview since it will contain many pages of extraneous issues

General Text

Secondary, usually done by a panel of experts on country or topic

To educate students

Offers quick overview for student seeking quick information

Usually NOT an expert on every topic in text so there may be gaps and errors, may be too brief


Primary, done by artist for public at that time

To educate, entertain, and often to sell newspapers or magazines

Offer at least one person’s perspective on issue of the time, event

Don’t know how widespread it is, often exaggeration is used for comic effect



For public usually

Offers official view of speaker, it is what audience hears

May not be real views of the speaker, speeches are designed to sway opinion

Internal Memo


For internal examination amongst officials or government departments

Usually do not lie, so it is official view (as a speech) but private thoughts are often given too

Do not know what outsiders know, only what officials are saying to each other, may be fabricated

Thank you to Florida International University!

Research Skills 

  • How evidence of your research skills in the Investigating section of the report
  • Refer to the appendices (process journal extracts) that demonstrate your research skills