Research steps

Have you been asked to do a project and not sure where you should start.  Are your struggling with Information overload? 

Before you begin writing, you need to consider what you are trying to achieve and the process you will use to reach it. One strategy that has been developed for breaking an information problem into manageable steps is called Big6™ Skills (Eisenberg and Berkowitz, 1987).  You might like to try following the 6 steps described in this model: 

  1.  Task Definition 
  • Define/understand the information problem or the project you have been assigned
  • Identify information needed
    • What is my current task?
    • What are some topics or questions I need to answer?
    • What information will I need?
  2.  Information Seeking                Strategies
  • Determine all possible sources.  (Look at this list of possible sources).
  • Select appropriate/best sources. Check requirements.

  3.  Location & Access
  • Locate sources
  • Find information within sources
    • Select appropriate keywords for search
  • Search:
    • Library catalog
    • Print resources (understand library layout, Dewey)
    • Periodicals databases
    • Internet (don't forget to evaluate your sources)
  • Find information within print resources (use indexes, tables of contents)
  4.  Use of Information
  • Read
  • Extract relevant information/take notes
    • What information from the sources is useful

  5.  Synthesis
  • Organise information from multiple sources
  • Present the information
    • How will I organise my information
    • How should I present my information
  • Cite sources (click here for more info on how to cite your sources)
  • Avoid plagiarism

  6.  Evaluation
  • Have you achieved your objective/solved the information problem?
  • Did I do what was required?
  • How well did the process work?

Sources: The "Big6™"; The American School in England Accessed 09 April 2015.