The Research Process

K-5th grade iconStarting a research project is an exciting adventure into new learning! It also can be daunting to begin the process. Here are the steps to researching and some online research sites that will save time in locating information.

The Big6 – Six Steps to Solve Problems by Using Information

  1. Task Definition
    • Define your problem or question
    • “What do I need to do?”
  2. Information Seeking Strategies
    • Think of all sources of information you can use (make a list)
    • “Where can I get information from?”
  3. Location & Access
    • Locate your sources, then find your information in the source
    • “Where is the information that I need?”
  4. Use of Information
    • Start reading, printing, taking notes for relevant information
    • “What information can I use?”
  5. Synthesis
    • Put together the information you’ve gathered
    • “What can I make to finish the job?”
  6. Evaluation
    • Evaluate how well you did. What could you do differently next time?
    • “How will I know if I did my job well?”

The Research Cycle

  1. Question
    • Identify and list the questions you need to explore
  2. Plan
    • Develop a strategy to find pertinent information rapidly
  3. Gather
    • Harvest information which casts light on the key questions
  4. Sort, Sift and Analyze
    • Rearrange the puzzle pieces, looking for patterns
  5. Synthesize
    • Make sense of the puzzle pieces – getting the picture
  6. Evaluate
    • Figure out what’s missing, what else is needed
  7. Report
    • Share insights persuasively


  • S: Select and focus topic and information needs.
  • U: Uncover potential sources of information. Learn how to access them.
  • C: Collect, examine, and select suitable resources.
  • C: Compile relevant information from selected sources.
  • E: Evaluate, interpret, analyze, and synthesize the information.
  • E: Establish and prepare an appropriate format and present the information.
  • D: Determine the effectiveness of the whole process.