The Research Process
A six step research inquiry process
The Information Process
Six steps to help you do “great research”
What do I need to find out?
Where will I find the information I need?
How will I organize the information?
How well did I do? What did do well?
What do I need to improve on?
How will I select the information I need?
How will I present the information?
WHY am I doing this task?
do I want to produce at the
end of the task?
What do I really want to find out?
difference will this learning make?
When you first get your
research project, it is worth
spending the time getting
REALLY CLEAR on what you
are expected to do.
It will make the other stages of
the process much easier.
Here are five questions you
should answer before you
Know exactly what it is that you are
required to do.
am I going to be
Defining the task
This is a great way
to see how your
ideas about the
topic. It shows how
• The Question
• Bloom’s Taxonomy
• Six Thinking Hats
• KWL Chart
This charts lets you :
• Identify what you
• Identify what you
want to know
The question is the answer
The questions you create will define
how you approach your research.
Great questions will lead to great
•Picture Page Layout
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A mind map is a graphical way to represent ideas and
concepts. It is a visual thinking tool that helps structure
information. It also reflects how you think and how your
brain makes connections between different ideas.
• They help visual learners remember
• They support spatial learners remember
information and make connections
• One mind map can sum up many pages of
• They help you see connections /
relationships between different parts of a
• They link existing and new knowledge.
• Colour and pattern can help stimulate
• Because our visual memory is better than
our verbal memory, patterns help us to
remember information more effectively.
What are mind maps good for?
What can mind maps be
Here are some different things you can
use a mind map for.
Brainstorming – to expand your ideas on a topic
Stimulating your creativity
Studying and memorization
In the DEFINING stage mind maps are
especially good to:
• Document all of the existing knowledge
you have a about a topic;
• Begin to see connections and links
between different aspects of the topic;
• See where there are gaps in your
• Use focus questions to formulate
appropriate questions that you want to
find the answers to; and
• Provide a VISUAL MAP of your
You can add to the mind map as you discover more
information or make new connections in your thinking.
In the DEFINING stage…..
The 5 W’s
Here are five basic questions you can start
This question is about people.
This question refers to facts.
This question refers to a time (past., present,
future or situation).
This question is hypothetical – asking you
to predict something based on a set of
This question refers to a location or place.
This question asks about a reason, cause,
Sometimes questions are referred to as
FAT or SKINNY
Fat and skinny questions
FAT questions usually require a
much more detailed answer.
Here are some examples:
What were the causes of the
First World War?
What would be the economic
effects of rising ocean levels?
Yes / No
there is no
The Question Matrix is a grid that allows you to categorize your questions
against a number of contexts . It is a great tool to help you develop your focus
The Question Matrix
When doing your
research you will find
that different sources
have a different
purpose and audience.
For example an
encyclopedia article is
very different to a journal
article which is different
again to a brochure.
Pick the information
source that best suits
There are many different
sources of information. Try
to utilise all of these when
you get the opportunity.
Do NOT underestimate the
value of primary sources.
More and more the internet
is taking primary sources
and converting them to an
• Virtual Tours
• Videos of interviews
• Digital versions of “real”
Sources of information
Different ways of looking at information
Multi media presentations
Some of the Graphic Organisers you
might like to use in this stage of your
research project are:
This helps you compare similar features across
a number of criteria.
Lets you compare two things in colums
Let’s you sequence steps in a process. Could
be set of instructions, recipe, timeline
Let’s you look at a topic in six different
ways according to a colored hat.
Lets you look at something in terms of PLUS,
Allows you to compare and contrast two things
to identify similarities an differences
You can find examples of all these and more in
the STUDYVIBE TOOLBOX
Do I need all of this
information that I
to answer my
How can I best
You need to go back to
your original task and
focus questions to see if
the information you have
collected will satisfy your
If you don’t have enough
information then you
need to go back to
step two – Locating
When you have located your
information and taken your notes you
need to answer these questions:
• Your research task requirements
Is the presentation format set or can you choose
how you present your work?
• Your audience
Who are you presenting the work to? Is your
presentation format relevant?
The way you present your information will
• The purpose of the task
What was the purpose of the task?
To inform? To entertain?
Here are just a few presentation ideas
that you might like to try for your final product /
Also check out the
1. What did I learn from this task?
2. How is this learning going to help me?
3. Did I answer all of my focus questions?
4. How well did I go at each stage?
5. How well did I present my information?
6. What did I really do well?
7. What needs to be improved next time?
This is probably one of the most important stages
of the whole research process because it helps
you to work out how well you did. Here are some
questions you can ask?
• It is really important
that you REFERENCE
every source of
information you use for
your project or
• Check out “Making
Referencing Real” in
the iResearch Module
to learn how to do that.
• Here is an example of
what it looks like for a
Don’t forget to reference!!
This really shouldn’t come at the end…..
Canfield, J. & Healy, K.
2008, The success
principles for teens,
FOCUS ON WHAT
YOU WANT TO
THINK ABOUT WAYS
YOU CAN BUILD ON
WHAT YOU HAVE
LEARNT TO MAKE
Where to from here?
OK, you have done your research
project. So now what?
But most of
CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESS!!
Where to from here?
If you like the template that we used
for the presentation you can find
similar ones at