|Big 6 Research Tools|
|Vela M.S. uses the Big6 to build research skills and follows the MLA format for citations. |
Big6 breaks the process into 6 distinct steps:
Reliable Online Resources (ROaR)
| Steps of Big6:|
|Step 1: Task Definition: What do I need to do?|
1.1 Define the problem.
- What does your teacher want you to do? Do you understand the requirements of the assignment?
- Ask your teacher to explain the assignment it if seems vague or confusing.
- Restate the assignment in your own words and ask if you are correct.
1.2 Identify the information you need to complete the task (to solve the problem).
- What information do you need to do the assignment? Your teacher will often tell you.
- If your teacher does not tell you, it will help to write a list of questions that you need to look up.
|Step 2: Information Seeking Strategies: What can I use to find what I need?|
2.1 Determine the range of possible sources (brainstorm).
- Make a list of all the possible sources of information that will help you answer the questions you wrote in Step 1 (Task Definition).
- Consider library books, encyclopedias and websites to which your library subscribes (ask your librarian!), people who are experts in the subject, observation of your subject, free websites, and surveys.
2.2 Evaluate the possible sources to determine priorities (select the best sources).
- Look carefully at your list.
- Circle the sources that are available to you and easy for you to use.
|Step 3: Location & Access: Where can I find what I need?|
3.1 Locate sources.
- Figure out where you will get these sources.
- Beside each source in your list, write its location. If it is a website, list its web address. To save time, try to use websites that your teacher or librarian have suggested, linked or bookmarked.
- If your source is a person, figure out how you will contact him or her and write this down.
Now, you will actually get the sources. You make have to locate each source one at a time. If so, come back to this step for each source.
3.2 Find information within sources.
- Now that you have the course in hand, how will you get the information that you need to answer your questions? (Remember the questions you wrote in Step 1?) This all depends on the sources.
- First, make a list of words that will help you find information in all your sources - these are called keywords. They are synonyms and related words to your topic. You can find many of theses in the questions your wrote in Step 1.
- Next, make a list of the sources of information you will use. Beside each one, write how you will locate the information you need.
- Hints: Books: look at the index (back of the book) or table of contents (front of the book) for your topic and keywords. Encyclopedias: use the index volume (usually the last volume in the set) for the topic and keywords. Reference Websites that are subscribed to by your library (ROaR): type wither your topic or keyword in the search box. Try keywords separately and some together. Ask your librarian if you need help. Free Websites: use topic or keywords in subject directories (such as yahooligans.com). Try keywords separately and some together. Ask your librarian if you need help.
|Step 4: Use of Information: What information can I use?|
4.1 Engage the source - read, listen, view, touch
- You will need to read, listen, or view your source. If you can't understand any of your sources, ask an adult to help you. It's okay not to understand something, but it's not okay to avoid asking for help.
- You may not need to read, listen to , or view all material in each book, article, or website. You are looking for the specific information you need. Read the first sentence in each paragraph to decide if that paragraph has answers to your questions.
4.2 Extract - Take out the relevant information from a source
- It's time to take some notes!
- Ask your teacher or librarian for help on note-taking and citing your sources.
- Remember, if you discover more questions while you are taking notes, it is okay to add them to your list.
Step 5: Synthesis: What can I make to finish the job?
|Step 6: Evaluation: How will I know if I did a good job?|
6.1 Judge your product
- Before turning in your assignment, compare it to your teacher's requirements.
- Did you do and include everything that was required?
- Did you give credit to all your sources and did you write it in the way your teacher requested?
- Is your work neat?
- Is your work complete and does it include heading information (name, date, etc.)?
- Would you be proud for anyone to view this work?
6.2 Judge your information problem-solving process
- Think about what you did to finish this assignment. You may have learned some skills to use anytime you need information to answer questions.
- What skill(s) did you learn that you can use again?
- How will you be able to use the skill(s) again?
- What did you do well this time?
- What would you do differently next time?
- Which information sources were most useful? You may be able to use them again.
- What information sources did you need that the library did not have?
- Review the Big6 Step 6 Checklist (Click to open)
The "Big6" is copyright © (1987) Michael B. Eisenberg & Robert E. Berkowitz. For more information visit www.big6.com.