Extended Essay: Planning your research

Using the Big6 research model to frame and plan your research will lead to a more successful Extended Essay, particularly when it’s time to write your rough draft. This EE session will focus on the first two steps and touch on the third step.

Task Definition

Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 9.54.47 AMIt’s essential to start your research by identifying your information problem and determining the information you’ll need to solve that problem. Start by completing the Task Definition sheet. Still between topics? Fill out two!

Have you read a sample essay yet? Visit the YIS EE Libguide and read a sample paper now. Seeing how others used information will help you determine what you need to know. Mine their bibliographies and see what kind of information successful EEs in your subject area cited.

Information Seeking Strategies

Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 9.57.39 AMOnce you’ve determined what kind of information you need, now you have to figure out the absolute best possible sources to get that information. Dream big! Think of all the possibilities if there were no geographical or financial constrictions. Then brainstorm alternatives for sources that just can’t be accessed.

Start by filling out the YIS Research Planner. Think as broadly as possible. Aim for expert. Aim for variety. You will narrow down later, but it’s best to start broadly.

It’s great to start with Wikipedia as a trampoline into other resources. Step 2 is good time to review relevant Wikipedia articles for academic research, but remember you can’t use them on your bibliography. You need to be looking at authoritative, reliable resources. Make sure you evaluate all of your resources using the CRAAP method.

Location and Access

Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 9.39.12 AMNow that you’ve figured out which resources will be your best resources, it’s time to actually get your hands on them. This means two things:

1. Starting an Annotated Bibliography

It is essential you keep an organized list of your resources, preferably in MLA format, as you conduct your research. Updating an annotated MLA bibliography as you research will ensure you never lose a source, have a snapshot of your research at all times, and are ready to cite any resource when you begin writing your paper. Each resource should include a full MLA citation followed by a paragraph, summarizing the content of the resource, evaluating the resource, and reflecting on its overall fit into your project. Visit the Purdue OWL for more information on annotated bibliographies and don’t forget our citation guide to make sure you get the MLA just right.

2. Effectively using library resources

The library subscribes to a variety of electronic resources to help you find reliable academic resources for your research. Using Ebscohost databases and JSTOR gives you access to materials you might have to pay to access otherwise.

  1. Ebscohost Tutorials
  2. JSTOR Tutorials

Another resource that can be useful if Google’s specialized search engine Google Scholar. Read Google Scholar’s About Us page and their Search Tips to get the most out of your experience.