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The Research Process: Research Organizer

This guide will walk you through the steps necessary to complete any research assignment and help you avoid the stress associated with waiting until the last minute to get started.


All good research starts with a plan.  Complete the Research Organizer to help get you off to a good start.  List or summarize your research path. Provide as much information as possible such as search terms you will use and the specific sources you will explore and why. Remember to print your page BEFORE you exit the page or you will lose all your information.

Afterwards, continue on with The Information Cycle.

Assignment Organizer

Fill out Big6 #1-5 before you begin to work on your assignment.

Fill out Big6 #6 before you turn in your assignment.

You will need to PRINT this form BEFORE exiting the page.

Today's date:

Big6 #1 Task Definition

Determine a purpose and need for information—What am I supposed to do?

What information do I need in order to do this? (Consider listing in question form.)
You will most likely find interesting additional information as you use the resources. List below information that you feel you need to know at this time.

Big6 #2 Information Seeking Strategies

Examine alternative approaches to acquiring information. List the best sources to find this information. Don't forget traditional print and human sources as appropriate.

If using web sites, who will evaluate them for relevancy, accuracy, and authority?
I will use only those evaluated by and provided by my teachers or librarian, including the databases to which the school subscribes
I will find free web sites and use a web site evaluation guide for each that I use in my project

Big6 #3 Location & Access

Locate sources and access the information within them—Where will I locate these sources?
school library
public or university library
personal library
provided by my teachers

If using a search engine list likely key words.

Big6 #4 Use of Information

Use a source to gain information—How will I record the information that I find?
take notes using cards or electronic note cards
take notes on notebook paper
take notes using a word processor
illustrate concepts
use a tape recorder, video, or digital camera

How will I give credit to my sources?
use the LibGuide for information on citing sources and preparing a Works Cited or Bibliography page
Go straight to NoodleBib

Big6 #5 Synthesis

Integrate information from a variety of sources—How will I show my results?
written paper
oral presentation See Presentation Guidelines
multimedia presentation

How will I give credit to my sources in my final product or performance?
include a written bibliography
after the performance or presentation, announce which sources I used

Materials I will need for my presentation or performance (list, separating by commas)

How much time do I estimate it will take to find the information and create the product?

Timeline for assignment
Ideas for project (task definition) completed by:
Information searching (note taking) completed by:
First draft due:
Completed assignment due:

Include here any additional information needed to successfully complete the assignment:

Big6 #6 Evaluation

Before turning in my assignment, I need to check off all of these items (on the printed Organizer):
what I created to finish the assignment is appropriate for what I was supposed do in Big6 #1
the information I found in Big6 #4 matches the information needed in Big6 #1
credit is given to my sources, written in standard citation format
I am in compliance of copyright laws and fair use guidelines
my work is neat
my work is complete and includes heading information (name, date, etc.)
I would be proud for anyone to view this work

Big6™ copyright 1990, Michael Eisenberg and Robert Berkowitz.
Big6™ Assignment Organizer copyright 1995, Links and graphics used with permission.