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Strategies for Research

Define the Task

  • What needs to be done? 
  • What are the teacher’s expectations? Carefully read the rubrics.
  • What do you already know about the topic?
  • Identify what type of info (facts, opinions, pictures, media, statistics) is needed.
  • Develop tentative thesis statement.

Plan Strategy for Gathering Info

  • What can I use? Brainstorm all possible sources. Be creative. Don’t limit media.
  • Select best sources to investigate (appropriate and reliable)

Locate Information

  • Where can I find these resources?
  • Locate the sources: books, magazines, websites, databases, news media, interviews, email, and people.
  • Use specific keyword searches and alternative key words to narrow or broaden the search. 
  • Check out materials from the library, print articles or photocopy.
  • Gather all material together and keep in a folder.

Using Information

  • What can I use from these resources?
  • Make use of the information you have obtained. Read, view and listen. Highlight important sections.
  • Take notes. Form opinions.
  • Discuss opinions with friends and/or family.
  • Refine or redefine the thesis statement.


  • What can I make to finish the job? Can you say, “I MADE THIS”?
  • Organize information to support your thesis statement.
  • Present your position using the research which supports your position.
  • Create a draft of the paper or project with appropriate documentation (bibliography/works cited)


  • How will I know I did a good job? Judge your results.
  • Edit and review draft. Have someone read it and get feedback. 
  • Grade your work with the rubrics. Go for your personal best.
  • Produce final copy of paper and or presentation.
  • Judge the process. How efficient was your search? In the future what would you do, improve or avoid?

~Big Six Research Skills Eisenberg & Berkowitz

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