Benchmark 8

Step 1: Plan & Focus

  1. State a topic in the form of a…
  • Broad question
  • Problem (Is this a real-life problem?)
  • Statement generated through brainstorming
  1. Match purpose and audience with plans for conducting research
  2. Pre-plan presentation and/or product to help focus research
  3. Conduct “pre-search” investigations to seek initial and background information before setting final research questions
  4. Develop high-level questions for inquiry and develop sub-questions to guide research
  5. Categorize and focus the questions or statements to aid research (clustering, mind mapping, webbing, etc.)

Step 2: Find Out ~ Locate ~ Gather

  1. Use different sources of information
  • Text Sources - information books, primary sources, dictionaries, encyclopedias, media (video, tapes, etc.), literature, almanacs, biographical dictionaries, atlases, classroom collections, World Wide Web, geographical dictionaries, periodicals, CIMC, special subject sources, computer software
  • Human Sources (interviews, field studies, television, surveys, radio, speech/presentation)
  • External Sources (telephone, public library, other libraries)
  1. Use subject, author, title, keyword, browse, and Boolean searches to find materials using the online catalog
  2. Identify key facts and information after reading several passages or articles on the same topic
  3. Use skim & scan reading techniques to find information and support understanding
  4. Select relevant information by comparing it with the focus questions
  5. Use effective note-taking techniques to ensure appropriate documentation of quoted as well as paraphrased materials
  6. Complete note-taking process with one source before locating another source so student knows what other information is needed
  7. Check the validity and accuracy of information obtained from research, including differentiating fact from opinion, and identifying strong versus weak arguments, recognizing that personal values influence the conclusions an author draws
  8. Check the credibility of information sources
  9. Cite sources using bibliographical format 

Step 3: Organize

  1. Categorize notes according to the focus questions
  2. Use tools to organize and summarize information: outlines, mind maps, Venn diagrams, grids, charts, morphological charts, tables, spreadsheets
  3. Use techniques for managing information: note cards, notebooks, portfolios, electronic storage
  4. Determine relevant and irrelevant information
  5. Use calendar process
  6. Create a draft of information: lists, charts, paragraphs, diagrams, outlines, and/or graphs 


Step 4: Interpret ~ Analyze

  1. Evaluate new information and ideas by testing them against known information and ideas
  2. Analyze the validity and reliability of primary and secondary sources and use the information appropriately
  3. Draw inferences, conclusions, or generalizations about main ideas in text, and support them with textual evidence and prior knowledge
  4. Ask questions and support answers by connecting prior knowledge with literal information found in and inferred from text
  5. Draw conclusions about whether portions of a passage are facts or opinions
  6. Understand that there are different points of view of information
  7. Determine whether original questions have been answered (Do I need to go back and gather more information?)
  8. Achieve an effective balance between documented researched information and original ideas

Step 5: Report Findings

  1. Produce quality documents addressing layout, design and audience
  2. Present information in a variety of ways
  3. When appropriate, share findings/results outside of school community, e.g. interviewees, neighborhood groups
  4. Develop research report (ODE requirement for 8th grade standard)
  • Specify a thesis
  • Use a variety of primary and secondary sources, and distinguish the nature and value of each
  • Include important ideas, concepts, and direct quotations from significant information sources, and paraphrase and summarize different perspectives on the topic, as appropriate
  • Organize and display information on charts, tables, maps, and graphs
  • Document sources 

Step 6: Assess ~ Reflect

  1. Use appropriate scoring guides (writing, speaking, visual, science) to assess own work
  2. Determine satisfaction with information and finished product 

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