This webpage is a work in progress and only contains the research process template.
This webpage will be up-dated before the start of this research project.


Know, Understand, Do


Step 1:

Set Goals

  • How to select a supported topic.
  • How to narrow and/or broaden a topic.
  • That successful and efficient researchers set goals and follow a proven research process to achieve them.
  • Select "Supported Topics" based on topical interest, available information, and teacher quidelines prior to presenting topic choice to teacher.

Focus Resources:
  • Use the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) to locate at least one good resource on your favorite topic.
  • Check out librarian selected resources and book cart in classroom area.
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Step 2:

Learn Basics


  • Where to obtain overview information
  • How to identify what overview facts are needed for a chosen topic.


  • That successful and efficient researchers use basic overview knowledge to plan and guide them through the research process.


  • Get pertinent overview information to facilitate following steps in research process.

Overview Resources
  • Encyclopedia Americana (In classroom)
  • World Book Encyclopedia (In classroom)
  • Specialized Encyclopedia (Focused on a specific topic.)

Overview Questions

  • General Topic Overviews:
  • What category does your topic fall under?
  • Who was involved?
  • Where did this happen?
  • When did this occur?
  • What is the importance of this topic in relationship to what you are studying in class?
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Step 3:

Select Keywords


  • Keywords are the words that are used to locate information in print or online indexes.
  • Resources for identification of "topic specific" and "good" keywords.


  • That keywords are topic specific and may vary by resource.
  • That keywords used have a direct correlation with the quality of the information found and the amount of quality information missed during the search.


  • Identify "good" and "topic-specific" keywords.

Keyword Resources:
  • Sears List of Subject Headings (In Library Classroom)
  • Also found at bottom of reference book articles and in the record information of an article in online subscription database (See list of indexes in "Select Tools" section of this planner).
Selected Keywords and Main Call Numbers for this project?
  • Biography, Individual (921)
  • Books in this section of the library are arranged in order by the last name of the person the book is about.
  • Biography, Collective (920)
  • Books in this section of the library are arranged in order by the last name of the author.
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Step 4:

String Together


  • How a computer conducts a search in an electronic databases
  • How Boolean, Phrase, and Truncation operators direct electronic searches.


  • That thoughtful search strings provide better results


  • Write and employ thoughtful search strings

String Examples

  • "American Revolution" OR "American Revolutionary War"
  • cooking AND "colonial America" AND history
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Step 5:

Select Media


  • The pros and cons of different media types for different research needs
  • Available research tools and their media content
  • Reliability of resources provided by different research tools.


  • Using the right tool(s) for the job is essential to finding good and relevant information on a topic.
  • Poor choice of media may lead to bias, mis-informative, and non-relevant resources.


  • Choose to use topically relevant, appropriate, and reliable media tools and resources.

Visit CMS Library Resources section of this website for a complete list of available media resources.
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Step 6:

Use Tools


  • How to use print and non-print indexes and/or database interfaces to conduct searches for needed information
  • How to manipulate electronic results lists
  • How to take advantage of database and browser features to identify needed information within records.


  • Successful and efficient researchers take advantage of all features of chosen research tools in order to improve their results.


  • Use search tools efficiently and effectively.

Using Tools Resources:
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Step 7:



  • How to use page and record prompts to promote understanding of information retrieved
  • Some reading strategies: thinking outloud, and talking to the text


  • Successful and efficient researchers have developed strategies that have made it easier to move through, develop understanding of, interpret, and evaluate text


  • Read for understanding

Engage Resources:
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Step 8:

Take Notes


  • How to identify main idea and important facts from information retrieved
  • How to classify accumulated main ideas and important facts
  • How to archive accumulated main ideas and important facts


  • That well classified and archived main ideas and important facts makes it easier to design, produce the research project.


  • Abstract meaningful and research relevant information from retrieved resources
  • Classify and record main ideas and important facts in a manner that makes it easy to retreive and use.

Take Note Resources:
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Step 9:



  • How to re-organize notes to present knowledge and meet research goals (ie. outlines, story boards, graphic organizers)


  • That a thoughtful design anticipates and addresses potential problems and is guided by the research goal(s).
  • Pre-planning usually reduces production time and potential last minute problems.


  • Take time to think about and design research projects in accordance with research goals and adherence to assessment guidelines

Design Resources:
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Step 10:



  • Different ways of conveying understanding in a new manner and product. (i.e SlideShow, Research Paper, Website, Podcast)
  • How to give proper credit for the works of others used in the development of the product


  • That the product must clearly convey and not distract from the message.


  • Create works that show and demonstrate your understanding and learning,address your goals, and show incorporation of personal ideas, interpretation and evaluation of information
  • Give proper credit

Produce Resources:
Need help?

Step 11:

Grade Yourself


  • How to use teacher assessment tools to evaluate a product
  • How to assess the steps in the research process.


  • That this will not be the last time they will do a research project and a few minutes of reflection may save hours of work and improve their grades the next time.


  • Evaluate the product according to assessment guidelines prior to submission.
  • Evaluate the steps in the research process to identify potential areas of improvement or efficiency.

Evaluating your product before project is turned in...
  • Did you meet the goals you set for yourself?
  • Did you meet your teacher's goals?
  • Could others see your personal input into this project?
  • Did you properly cite all resources used?
Evaluating your process after project submission...
  • What research steps were the hardest for you?
  • How long did it take you to complete each step in the process and how can you streamline your efforts?
  • What organizational problems did you have and how can you avoid them in the future?
  • What reading and writing problems did you have and how can you avoid them in the future?
  • Did your teacher's grade accurately reflect your effort? If not, why do you think this is?
  • How can you make this process easier next time?
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This webpage was created on: 14 June 2009
This webpage was last updated on: 01 January 2010
This webpage was created by: CMS Librarian
Contributions to are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 License. Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 License