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.
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 the Big 6 Research Organizer and Project Planner
Now start looking for information. Before you jump to the Internet prepare for searching:
What kinds of information will I be searching for?
2. INFORMATION SEEKING STRATEGIES
Consider what sources might have relevant information. Determine the best sources of information relating to your problem. Brainstorm--write down ideas for resources
Now what sources are best for me to use?
This is a good time to set up an appointment with your librarian!
3. LOCATION AND ACCESS
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 EasyBib.
Use Big6 Chart Organizer for Taking Notes on this page
4. USE OF INFORMATION
Engage with the information. Depending on the type of resources you have chosen, this involves reading, listening, watching, touching, etc.
How do I evaluate my sources? Are they "good" sources?!
Organize the information you have found: in research this means drafting your paper. This step also involves presenting your findings.
Signal Phases 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?