Research Toolkit for Teachers

Research Toolkit for


Based on The Big 6 in Secondary Schools by Michael B. Eisenberg and Robert E. Berkowitz

Documents listed in red are available in the Document Manager

Research projects come in many forms. But no matter the form the final product takes, there are some essential steps that need to be followed along the way. The steps are not always linear, sometimes you have to revisit and revise along the way. This is a brief guide to help you navigate through the research process with information about proper documentation, citations, evaluating resources, Fair Use Guidelines, and avoiding plagiarism.

I.   Define the task.

A.   What do you want the student to do?

1.   What course standard and/or objectives does the project support?

2.   Will you supply the topics or will students select their own?

3.   What is the form of the final product? (e.g. video, PowerPoint, speech,  multimedia, paper)
50 Ways to Leave Your Term Paper

4.   Model and/or clearly define the components to be completed.

5.   Develop a rubric that clearly states expectations. www.rubistar.com

6.   How can I discourage plagiarism?

a.  Discuss plagiarism with students Anti-Plagiarism Strategies for Research Papers

a.  Define plagiarism 
Defining and avoiding plagiarism

b.  Show examples of plagiarism Ten question quiz with student examples

b.  Require a Works Cited PageSample MLA Citations 2009 ed.   Citation Guide EasyBib.com

c.  Use search engines to search text excerpts from student work if you suspect plagiarism.

B.   What information is needed?

1.   How many resources are required?

2.   What types of resources are required?

C.   Collaborate with media specialist.

II.   Information seeking strategies

A.   What are the possible sources of information?

 1.   A wide range of resources exist. (print, online database, video, audio, interview, web page, the list can go on)

 2.   What resources are available to your students?

a. Classroom resources 

b.   Media center resources

c. Public Library

B.   Work with students to develop search strategies.

a. List the keywords and terms to search.

b.   Look for synonyms and alternative terms.

c. Use narrower or broader search terms as necessary.

C.   Work with students to select the best resources to fit the assignment.

1.   Work with media specialist to create a list of best resources available – works well if all students are researching the same or similar topics

2.   How do you determine if a resource is credible and/or appropriate for the purpose CAARS and CLAAASS Evaluation Sheets from Big6     Website credibility EasyBib.com


III.   Locating and Accessing Information

A.   Locate the sources-physically find the material.

 1.   Are the print resources available in the classroom or media center?

Reasons to Take Another Look at NCWiseOwl 
Seven Things You Should Know About NCWiseOwl

 2.   Can the student use search engines to locate appropriate material? 
Internet Searching Tips

B.   Find the information needed within the sources.

1.   How to use a search engine. 

2.   Use of Index, table of contents to locate specific information needed.

3.   Use of web page navigation tools to locate specific information needed.

IV.   Using the Information

A.   Student must interact with the information found. (read, view, listen)

B.   Student must extract useful information

1.   Note taking (note cards, highlighted sheets, some form of note taking that will allows the student to organize the information and know where the information came from).

a. Research Process Using Note Cards

b. Using Cornell Notes for Research  
Cornell Notes Template

c.  Note taking using PowerPoint from Big 6  
Blank Note Taking Template using PowerPoint

 2.   Source information needed to properly compile a Work Cited Page.

a. Sample MLA Citations

b.   Links to online resources to create citations

a. www.Bibme.com

b.   http://easybib.com EasyBib App available for smart device


V.   Synthesis

A.   Organizing the information from multiple resources

1.   Create a logical project with information from several resources

 2.   Answer the question, how does this all fit together?

B.   Present the information

1.   The rubric should tell students your expectations about how the information is presented.

2.   All information, pictures, graphics, audio, etc., must be documented.

a. Correctly cite sources using MLA format.

a. Works Cited Page or incorporated in the final product

b.   In text documentation MLA Template for Research Paper

b.   Follow Davidson County Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines

c. Remind students to credit themselves for their creative work

a. Photos

b.   Art work

c. Music

d.   Videos

C.   Useful Organizational tools

1.   Outline

2.   Storyboard template

3.   Graphic organizers

VI.   Evaluation

A.   Student assessment (suggestions)

1.   Using the rubric-students assess their own work.

2.   Peer assessment.

3.   Possible student assessment questions.

a. What is the connection between classroom subject matter and your research project?

b.   What did you discover about yourself and the research process?

c. How will this help you in the future?

B.   Teacher assessment

1.   Using the rubric, grade the assignment.

2.   Did the assignment have the desired outcome?

3.   What unanticipated problems occurred?

4.   Is the assignment worth doing again?

5.   What needs to be altered if the assignment is repeated?


Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL)

Research and Documentation with samples from several style manuals based on the work of Diana Hacker.

Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling