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Starting your research with a quick brainstorm session is a good idea because it will help you identify:
keywords to search in the library catalog and databases
synonyms and alternative words for your topic
specific ideas or questions you may want to address, that you haven’t yet considered
Questions to ask while brainstorming: Write in answers as short phrases or words
WHOare the important / influential people (artists, designers, critics, writers, philosophers etc.) involved with my topic? This could also be a group or organization rather than an individual. Who is the audience or end user?
WHAT are some examples of this topic? A work of art, building, film, product, service, etc.? What is it made of, what does it look like, what style is it? What are the creator’s aims, goals or concerns?
WHEN – what time period(s) are appropriate to this topic? Has it been around for a long time, or is it new? How did it originate? If it is historical, what are the important milestone dates in its history?
WHERE– is it tied to a specific country, state, city or geographic area? Has it been relocated to multiple places and if so, where? What is the importance of place to my topic?
HOW has this topic/idea/work influenced others? How does it relate to the larger culture or context?
WHY is this topic/idea important –to others, and to me? ONE additional question I have about my topic, or something I would like to learn more about:
Information sources to use: You may need to do some background reading to answer the questions above. It’s ok to start with the basics! Bear in mind you will not END your search here – you still need to use the library catalog and databases to complete your research.
Existing knowledge – what do you already know about this?
Notes from class discussions and lectures and interviews
Developed by Mike Eisenberg and Bob Berkowitz, the Big6 is the most widely known and widely used approach to teaching information and technology skills in the world. Used in thousands of K-12 schools, higher education institutions, and corporate and adult training programs, the Big6 information problem-solving model is applicable whenever people need and use information (Eugene Ashley High School).
Mike Eisenberg explains Big 6 and Super 3
1. TASK DEFINITION
Define the problem in the most clear terms you can. Figure out the information you need.
IMPORTANT! Use theBig 6 Research Organizerand Project Planneron this page
Free resource.The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.
Our Reference tab includes: maps of the major world regions, as well as Flags of the World, a Physical Map of the World, a Political Map of the World, a World Oceans map, and a Standard Time Zones of the World map.
Engage with the information. Depending on the type of resources you have chosen, this involves reading, listening, watching, touching, etc.
Is the information in-depth enough for me or is it too simple, superficial?
Can I understand the information?
Is it too scientific or too technical for you or use a specialized language you do not understand yet?
If you cannot understand the information, after reading it 3 times,ask a librarian or teacher for different sources you can better understand. Most topics have information for experts and non-experts (you and me!
Too much information? Narrow down your topic!
Not enough information? Go through the same process to broaden, or widen, your topic. You will find more information--maybe time to visit your librarian?
Does it help me complete my task, answer my questions, lead me to new information and resources?
Yes :)Take notes and record the resource See Note Taking templates on this page
No :(Look for information in other sources--maybe time to visit your librarian?
Does the information you found make you want to change youroriginal thesis or research question? That's ok, this happens!
Howdo I evaluate my sources? Are they "good" sources?!
Judge the product of your research. Did you accomplish what you set out to do? Are there holes or opportunities for further research?
Reflect as an IB Scholar
Reflect. As an IB scholars we reflect on our work and on the process. You will be inquiring, trying to find information and researching again. And again. And again! Thinking about the process will make future research more rewarding. Work through these reflection questions:
What was difficult about starting this research process?
What would I do differently at the beginning the next time?
Did I ask for help if I felt confused or lost?
What did I do to help organize my time?
What did I do that made it difficult to be organized?
Did I meet with other students in my class to get ideas?
Did I ask other people to go over my research and findings?
Did I acknowledge others' contributions?
What problems did I have finding information?
Did I ask for help when I needed it?
Did I use the library resources?
Did I have problems using the library resources?
What did working with experts in the field teach me?
What was the most helpful to me?
What was the least helpful to me?
If I were doing this again, I would do the following things differently?
I used to think this…now I think this....about my topic
The part I liked the most was…
The part I liked the least was…
What did I learn about myself as a presenter?
What did I learn about myself as a writer?
How did I handle any feelings of anxiety I had?
What strategies worked best in regard to preparation?
What strategies worked best in regard to presentation?
"The International Baccalaureate® aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect."
Did I consider international resources, situations, and point-of-view?
Did I try to virtually meet with students regarding the same topic from other parts of the world?
Did I live up to the IB mission?
Whichlearning profiles did I use? Did I do honor to these profiles?
How was my Approach To Learning (ATL) affected?
How did this experience prepare me to be college, career, or military ready?
What new learning can I carry into my future?
How has this experience changed me?
If I were advising a future student I would tell them…