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Research Tips

Project Planning

If you are completing a research project, this diagram provides a great overview of the process.  Start at the top with Planning and move clockwise through each step.   Once you begin keep thinking about the next steps:  how the project will be shared with others, how the teacher will evaluate it, etc.  This is a recursive diagram and you may find, as you reflect on your progress, that you may have to cycle back to a previous step as your inquiry focus changes.  


Don’t forget to keep track of your sources of information so you can easily complete your Works Cited page. WGSS uses the MLA8 (Modern Languages Association) citation method.


Alberta Learning

An inquiry approach to research requires you to…


Create a guiding question that will serve as a lens for sifting through the information available on your topic.  A well-crafted question should be open-ended to allow you to confront your topic and dig deeply into existing research.  Through an inquiry approach you will...


  • Investigate widely.

  • Create new knowledge.

  • Use this knowledge to:

 - Answer a question

 - Develop a solution

 - Support a position or a point of view


***Tip: Your question is open-ended and cannot be answered with "yes" or "no"

Using an inquiry approach to research will help you…

  • Develop skills you will need and use your whole life.

  • To deal with changes and challenges to your understandings.

  • Learn a systematic approach for problem solving.

  • Internalize steps for successful independent and group work.

  • Make choices so that you develop a commitment to the question throughout the messy process of retrieving, processing and creating.

  • Focus on the metacognitive processes involved instead of just producing a final project.  For example, at any time during your research project you should be able to describe which stage you are in and where you are going next.

Website Evaluation

So you’ve been given a research assignment by your teacher.  You type your topic into Google. 
You get 45,000,000,000 results in 0.52 seconds.  Sweet!  

You’ll have no trouble now…or will you?


The CRAAP Test was developed by librarians at
California State University to encourage students to question the quality of research sources. 


Use this test to vet your sources.

UFV Library - Evaluating Sources: Getting Started
How to choose the best sources for your research project.

Scholastic - Be a Science Fact-Checker
Learn how to evaluate science-based claims in the media.

Evaluating Sources - Western Libraries

Need help planning your research paper?

Check out Wisconsin's Online Library's Research Guide. 
It offers six steps to creating a great paper!

Research Guide

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