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Home - Library - Research Help - Information Literacy - Generic Big 6 Worksheet

BIG 6 RESEARCH WORKSHEET

Use this form to help you organize your project research. If you do your thinking first you will save lots of time and frustration. The process the following steps support is called The Big 6 and refers to the six steps we all use to solve information problems. Your problem is usually the project you have to research.
Take the time to develop your understanding of the process so your efforts are productive.
 
1.    TASK DEFINITION. Define your information problem & identify the information needed to complete your task. You may need to skim some books databases and web pages to get ideas.  Brainstorm with your instructor and classmates.
 

In this area, write out a list of questions which you need to answer in order to solve your problem.  Try to think through all the aspects of what you need to discover about your topic and then write these things out as questions. Try to come up with at least four or five.
a.
 
b.
 
c.
 
d.
 
e.
 

 
 
 
        In the box below, list terms words or phrases which would be used in documents referring to your research topic. These can be very specific or general, yet used in conjunction with your topic. These are the search terms which will be found in indexes, library catalogs, and on web pages which relate to your needed information. You may need to skim some books databases and web pages to get an idea of broad and narrow terms.
         

Broad Terms, Narrow Terms, Synonyms
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

         
 
 
2.    INFORMATION SEEKING STRATEGIES. Brainstorm then determine the range of possible sources and prioritize them with respect to their value, availability, and content.
 
This section is to help you decide what TYPES of sources you need, WHERE they are located, and WHICH ones SPECIFICALLY you need to locate. Think about the types of information you need and then identify the types of sources which will most likely contain it. Be sure to consider the reliability of the sources before listing them.
In the right-hand column, make your own list of where you want to go. Do you know which ones your library owns or subscribes to? Be sure to use the Library web pages and handouts for sources!
 

SOME TYPES OF SOURCES
SOME CHOICES
YOUR NOTES
BOOKS or REFERENCE SOURCES
In  library?
Interlibrary Loan?
E-books?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
MAGAZINE OR JOURNAL SOURCES
Library hard copy?
Online databases? Which?
Online web site?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEB SITES
Commercial? Personal?
Organization? Military? Government? School?
Recommended?
Best of the best?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
PEOPLE/INTERVIEWS
Personal contact?
Telephone directory?
Friend of a friend?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
NEWSPAPERS
Library hard copy?
Online databases?
Online web site?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3.    LOCATE & ACCESS INFORMATION. Locate sources and find specific information within the sources.
 
         
  ? At this point you need to spend some time searching! Go to the LBWCC Libraries web page.
   

Some Choices
Your Notes
Your college library?
 
Another library?
 
Your public library?
 
Website?
 
Librarian?
 
Teacher?
 
Resource list?
 
Other?
 
 

 
 
4. USE OF INFORMATION. Engage the information (read, hear, view, touch) and extract relevant information from your sources.
 

SOME CHOICES
YOUR NOTES
Create a working annotated bibliography?
 
On cards? In Word?
 
Include summaries?
 
Great source?  Good source?  Not-so-good
 
Cite sources?  Style sheet?
 

 
 
Attach a copy of the documents that you used with important parts highlighted.
 
This is where and when you start reading and digesting the materials you find and take notes! Be sure to document where you find the information. Clearly identify what you are quoting and what you summarize and put into your own words. Keep track of ALL sources you consult and take information from, no matter how trivial the information. Use note cards or a notebook to keep track of your notes and information retrieved.
If you use web sources, be sure to print out at least the first page for your records! You will need the complete web address and date you visited the online source.
 
Do you understand how to cite sources?  If not, how can you find out?
 
 
 
         
5. SYTHESIS. Organize and present your information.
 
At some point you need to start putting your information and ideas together for your presentation. You are creating a new information source when you do this. You take what you have learned and synthesize it into something that is unique to your project goals. So,in what format do you need to present it and how will it be organized? Consider making an outline first!
 

SOME CHOICES
YOUR NOTES
Written paper?
 
Oral presentation?
 
Multimedia presentation
 
Performance
 
Other: 
 
How will I give credit to my sources, texts, pictures, charts?
 
Include a written bibliography?
 
 
How does my timeline look?
Ideas for project (task definition) completed by: 
Information searching (note taking) completed by:
First draft due:
Completed assignment due:
 
 
Any additional information needed to successfully complete the assignment:
     

 
         
6. EVALUATION. Judge the product (effectiveness) and judge the process (efficiency).
 
This part of the process doesnt happen at the end, but is something that you do continuously throughout your research. Judging the product and the process applies to the sources you look at as well as the final presentation of your research. If you effectively evaluate what you are doing as you go along, your final product will be of a higher quality and have more impact than if you take the first things you see and fail to examine them carefully.
 
 
 
Adapted from Research Worksheet prepared by Jane Sharka for Naperville Central High School. (6/1/2006) and Wooster School , Nancy Woodward 2005; 2006; both adapted from Big6.

Lurleen B. Wallace Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges or SACSCOC to award the Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Associate in Applied Science degrees and certificates. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Lurleen B. Wallace Community College.