1. Task Definition - Define the information problem - What does your teacher want you to do? Make sure you understand the requirements of the assignment. What information do you need in order to do the assignment? Your teacher will often tell you what information you need. If he or she does not, it will help you to write a list of questions that you need to "look up."
2. Information Seeking Strategies - Make a list of all the possible sources of information that will help you answer the questions you wrote above. Consider library books, encyclopedias, and web sites to which your library subscribes (ask your librarian!).
Evaluate the different possible sources (select the best sources) - Which sources are available to you and are easy for you to use? Circle these. If there are some that you need help using, ask your teacher, librarian, mom or dad.
3. Locate & Access Figure out where you will get these sources. Beside each source, write its location. Go get the sources.
Finding information within sources - First make a list of words that will help you find information in all of your sources. These are called keywords. They are like synonyms and related words to your topic. Try looking in the index or table of contents for your topic and keywords.
4. Use Information - Look for the information you need. You may not need to read all of your source. You may be able to skip around, finding subheadings and topic sentences that will take you to your information (read the first sentences in each paragraph) .
Take out the relevant information - It's time to take some notes.
Note Taking Tips: Paraphrase: If you need the information from a large amount of text, paraphrase it. Paraphrasing is
restating a block of text to make it clearer. You will put the information into your own words. This type of note taking must be cited.
Summarize (read a large section for overall meaning and summarize it into one or two sentences). It must be cited unless the information contains common facts and knowledge.
Direct quotes. Quotations are reserved for one or two sentence statements that prove a point or reveal an attitude. Don't use quotations to make your point, just to back it up. You need to use quotation marks.
Tip to avoid plagiarism: Add quotation marks around text that is extracted directly from the source, and add brackets to information that you summarize or paraphrase as soon as you write, type or paste it. Do this so you won't forget whether or not it is a direct quote or paraphrased when you are using the information in a paper. You will include the quotation marks around a direct quote in your final paper. You do not need to put quotation marks around a paraphrase or summary, but you do need to cite either.
· If you need more help with how to use quotations in your work or MLA citation, click on Using Quotations on the left side of the page.
5. Synthesis - Organize information from multiple sources - Decide how you will put together the notes you took and ideas that you will add. You may: write a rough draft, create an outline, create a storyboard, or make a sketch.
Present the information - If your teacher assigns the product, make sure that you follow your teacher's guidelines.
6. Evaluation - Judge your product (how effective were you)
Before turning in your assignment, compare it to the requirements that your teacher gave you.
· Did you do everything and include all that was required for the assignment?
· Did you give credit to all of your sources, written 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?
Judge your information problem-solving process (how efficient were you)
Think about the actions that you perform as you are working on this assignment. Did you learn some things that you can use again?
· What did you learn that you can use again?
· How will you use the skill(s) again?
· What did you do well this time?
· What would you do differently next time?
· What information sources did you find useful? You may be able to use them again.
· What information sources did you need but did not have? Be sure to talk to your librarian about getting them.