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Concordian International School

Stress: Research Tips & Tools

4 Note Taking Systems To Consider

Research Tips & Videos

EXPAND your keywords​​

  • Look at the subject headings of the materials you find and use those terms as applicable.
  • Take note of words you see used repeatedly and other ways the ideas are presented

Try this tool to find predefined terms:  click the green buttonThesaurus

Which "google" search will give better results?

Google logo with X mark

What are the effects of climate change or global warming on Thailand?

Google logo with checkmark

"climate change" OR "global warming" thailand

Here's how to craft a better search to get fewer and more relevant results:

  • Identify the main ideas in your research question. These are your keywords
        What are the effects of climate change or global warming on Thailand?
  • Use quotation marks around 2 or more words that need to be together.
         "climate change"  "global warming"
  • Limit your search to a specific domain, such as .edu, .gov, or .org.
           "climate change"  "global warming" thailand 
  • Use nouns, not verbs or prepositions 

More information on Advanced Google and Google Scholar searching

Use Boolean Operators


  • For more precise searching, connect your keywords in a meaningful way using the words ANDOR, and NOT
  • Think of these connecting words as a bridge between keywords or concepts which allows you to narrow or broaden your search.

Try this online tutorial to understand how to use BOOLEAN Operators:








How Wikipedia CAN be useful in the beginning stages of research:

IF a grade B or better, use the article for:

Check mark A basic overview of topic
Check mark Keywords, names, dates
Check mark Table of contents  > sub-topics
Check mark

References and External websites ...

but evaluate them to be sure!

Why and When NOT to use Wikipedia?

 The accuracy and authority questioned--lots of edits suggested

X  Research is missing

X  Biased article

X  Grade C or below

MYP Projects Command Terms

Model Signal Phrases

Know Your Sources

Big 6 Research Process

The Big6 Skills

The Big6 is a process model of how people of all ages solve an information problem.

 Big6 Vertical Image


The “Big6™” is copyright © (1987) Michael B. Eisenberg and Robert E. Berkowitz. For more information, visit:

Overview of Big6 Process

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


Define the problem in the most clear terms you can. Figure out the information you need.

IMPORTANT! Use the Big 6 Research Organizer and Project Planner  on this page

  • What type of final product is expected?
    • Report, oral presentation, poster, slideshow, play, dance, game?
    • Word count, page length, size, time limit?
  • What is the topic of the assignment? This is a critical part of the research process.
    • Do you need a thesis statement? See Writing Ninja's Video: Thesis Statement  on this page
    • Do you need a research question? See Developing a Research Question Video  on this page
    • See Focusing a Topic TIp Sheet for excellent explanations and ideas.
  • What is the due date of your final product?
    • Is there anything due before the final due date? An annotated bibliography? Notes? Outline? Rough draft?

Now start looking for information. Before you jump to the Internet prepare for searching:

  • What are some key words or key phrases you already know about your topic? Write them down!
  • There are different ways and words to write about your topicWrite them down!
  • Are there related ideas you could also look up? Write them down!
  • You need a Sub-Topic to ​narrow your focus
    • Chronological? Over time
    • Geographical? In specific area or in different areas
    • Biographical? Specific individual or groups
    • Specific? A single specific event
    • Technological? 
  • See Narrow Your Topic Examples below and the Developing Keywords presentation  on this page

Ask Factual Questions to understand the basics

  • When? Where? Who? What? 

Ask Critical Questions these are the Why? and What if?

  • Hypothesis > How would things be different if "this" had not happened?
  • Prediction > How might the future look like?
  • Solutions > What actions can solve a problem?
  • Comparison or Analogy > Find similarities and differences between your topic and a similar topic
  • Judgment > Based on your findings, what is your opinion on the topic?

What kinds of information will I be searching for?

  • History? Descriptions? Maps? Pictures or photos? Statistics? Biographies? Original research? Research summaries? Film? Analysis? Criticism? Opposing viewpoints?
  • Do you need to make a MLA  "Works Cited"?  Do I need to have in-text citations?


Narrowing Topics


Consider what sources might have relevant information. Determine the best sources of information relating to your problem.  Brainstorm--write down ideas for resources

  • Interviews? Experts?
  • Surveys?
  • Visits to places? 
  • Encyclopedias in print or online? Maps? Atlases?
  • Television or radio shows?
  • Books and videos in the library?
  • Library databases?
  • Is there a LibGuide on my topic on the Library Website? Suggests databases and some authoritative websites 
  • Videos? Blogs? Tweets? 
  • Click and Check the Infographic below for more ideas about sources....

Now what sources are best for me to use?

This is a good time to set up an appointment with your librarian!


Locate sources you have chosen and find specific information within these sources. Take notes and keep track of your sources.

Find the resources brainstormed in Step 2. This is where you start keeping notes and recording your resources in your MyBib

Use Big6 Chart Organizer for Taking Notes on this page

  • INTERVIEWS -- Family friends or connections, local businesses or university professors, peer connections
  • YOUR LIBRARY -- Your librarians are here to help you find print and video resources, and how to use the different online resources.
  • FIRST STEP: BACKGROUND RESEARCH -- to start finding some keywords, phrases, ideas, events, people. Use these Reference databases, they have articles, videos, suggested websites:

3.2 Find information within sources

  • Use the Table of Contents at the beginning of books and databases and Wikipedia to narrow your topic
  • Use the Index at the back of books (print and online) to find your keywords
  • Use the References at the end of articles and books (print and online) for more sources
  • Add to your Keyword list as you find new terms and use these for searching
  • Do an Expert Google Search See "Better Googling"  on this page > 
  • Wikipedia for Research?! Find the "Grade" and if B or better, use for Keywords, Table of Contents to narrow a topic, and their references. See  YES and NO in "Wikipedia for Research" on this page >​


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 your original thesis or research question? That's ok, this happens!

How do I evaluate my sources? Are they "good" sources?!

5 Ws of Website Evaluation


Organize the information you have found: in research this means drafting your paper. This step also involves presenting your findings.

  • Have you double-checked your information?  One source is not enough. Three is minimum.
  • Do you have the data you need? Maps, charts, graphs, surveys?
  • Have you recorded all your sources in MyBib?
  • Do you have enough information to start an outline? See Research Paper Outline on this page
    • Missing any crucial information that ties the ideas together? 
    • Eliminate some information? Change your thesis? Change your research question?


  • Make an Outline -- Use the  Research Paper Outline on this page
  • Write a draft. Your teacher will help with this!
    • ​Use IB Command Terms   on this page and Signal Phrases  on this page
    • Descriptionari  below  to find synonyms or like-terms for your writing.
  • You MUST CITE in your bibliography and as in-text citations:
    • Direct quotations
    • Paraphrased quotations and information -- saying what you learned in your own words Statistical data, unless it is a result of your experiments or surveys
    • Images created by someone else -- photographs, videos, cartoons, art work, maps, lab photos, computer graphics
    • Song lyrics
    • Original ideas that are attributed to someone else, even if you put them in your own words
  • Check first draft for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, making sure you have used in-text citation and references to support where you found the information.


Signal Phases for Better Writing

Signal Phrases for Better Writing



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

ReflectAs 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:

Starting Out

  • 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?

International Baccalaureate 

"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?  
  • Which learning profiles did I use? Did I do honor to these profiles?
    • Balanced
    • Open-minded
    • Caring
    • Inquirer
    • Knowledgeable
    • Principled
    • Refective
    • Thinkers
    • Communicators
  • 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…

Based in part from resources from Baltimore County Public Schools!

Useful Videos

Brainstorming Graphic Organizers

Brainstorm Your Topic

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

    WHO are 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.

Use These Organizing & Research Resources

Credit Box

This LibGuide was created by Kathy Fester, adapting from the Big6 Skills CRLS Research Guide. Thank you!

Concordian International School, Bangkok

The content is shared under a Creative Commons Attribuition-Noncommerical license.