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Preparing For Research This is the step where you brainstorm ideas and possible sources of information; narrow your topic to make it manageable; and plan how you are going to do your research.
What is the information problem or question I am going to solve or answer? Organizing your thinking Brainstorming
Visual organizers help you to make your thinking visible. They help you to: generate ideas organize information and ideas make connections about your learning apply higher order thinking skills, such as contrast, comparison and synthesis of information understand and remember your learning plan how you will investigate, organize and present information
Planning and Organizing Your Research A visual tool provides a bridge between the assignment and the end product. It helps with the understanding of what is required by providing a framework for the task.
Brainstorming In brainstorming you put your brain to work on the topic or question you have chosen to investigate.
Rules in Brainstorming Create an idea web or simply list ideas about your topic, as quickly as you can. Don't evaluate or discuss them, just get them jotted down. Then look at your ideas and begin to think about which ones might interest you most or help to answer your question best or cover the topic most clearly.
How do I decide what information to search for? Questions to ask Deciding what’s important Decision Chart Sub-topic mapping
Questions help you to get at the information you want You need to build your questioning skills so that you will be able to ask questions that will get you useful information.
Research questions may be answered with: Detailed information Interesting ideas Pointers to other questions and information
Deciding what’s important Once you have decided on your topic and developed your research questions, you need to look at your questions for keywords. Then, from your keywords, create the sub-topics that you will use to help you select the important information from the data that you find in your research.
Keywords Keywords help you to decide what is important and what is not when you are searching for the data you will need for your research. They help you search through indexes, tables of contents, encyclopedias, pages of books and magazines, CD-ROMs, and the World Wide Web. They also help you to decide what your sub-topics should be. To choose keywords you need to check your brainstorming notes and your questions for the words or phrases that seem to be the key or important ideas.
Sub-Topics Sub-topics help you to find and organize the information you will need to answer your research question. They are important pieces of the larger topic. You decide on the sub-topics by looking at your brainstorming notes, your questions and your keywords to see which ideas are the ones that will best help you to answer your research question or solve your information problem.
Accessing resources This is the step where you decide what sources of information will be best; find them; and locate the information in them that might be helpful in answering your information question.
Accessing/Investigating What is my plan for doing this research? Will I be able to find the information I need? What sources of information should I use? How do I find the best sources in our school and school district? How do I find the best sources in our community? How do I find the best sources in the world?
Processing information Accessing resources Preparing for research
Processing information This is the step where you look closely at the information from your sources; decide what is important; and take notes. Then you organize your information; make sense of it; and develop your own ideas about it.
Processing How do I organize for research? How do I decide what is the most important information in a source? How do I find the important information in a book, magazine, pamphlet, CD-ROM, video, Web page...? How do I get the important information from people? How do I keep track of where I got what information? How am I going to organize my ideas and information to solve my information question or problem?
Transfer of learning Processing information Accessing resources Preparing for research
Transfer of Learning This is the step where you take your ideas and the information that helped you come to them and plan, create and present to other people, your findings and solutions.
Transferring and Creating What product am I going to create and how am I going to use it to tell about my findings and solutions? What will I do to evaluate my work and set goals for improving my research for my next information question or problem?
Research Journal Your research journal is an important part of your research process. It will help you to think about what you are learning and what to say and do next. It will help you and your teacher to assess your progress and help you with suggestions when you get stuck.