Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

HOME: Research Process



Research process

Doing research is solving problems, playing detective, moving 1 step at a time.  
Several good models exist and ASP decided to adapt the BIG6 problem-solving model. 

ASP Research Model


STEP 1: IDENTIFY the problem to solve, the question to answer, the topic to research
A. Identify, understand and narrow your topic.
B. Develop your research questions or thesis

  • What am I expected to do?
  • Do I understand what I need to do?
  • What are the questions I need to answer?
  • What do I need to know about the topic?

Step 2 CREATE your (re)search strategy
A. Identify strong keywords
B. Brainstorm, identify your sources

  • Where can you start to look for information?
  • Who can I talk too to get information?
  • What are the best sources to use?

Step 3 ENGAGE with the information
A. Locate, read, listen or watch the information
B. Evaluate sources
C. Keep organized notes, cite your sources, make ethical use of the information

  • Where can I find these resources?
  • How do I search to get to them?
  • Where do I find the information in the resource?
  • What type of information did I find?
  • Will the information answer the questions I have?
  • How do I write notes on the information?
  • Is the information reliable?
  • Have I properly credited my sources?
  • Have I used the MLA 8 format properly?

A. Organize from multiple sources
B. Present the information

  • How do I fit all the information together?
  • How do I write an outline of the project?
  • How do I present the information to my teacher to answer the question?
  • Did I remember to make notes of all the sources for the works cited page?

A. Judge the product (effectiveness)
B. Judge the process (efficiency)

  • Did I solve the problem?
  • Did I write the project in a format that will be understood?
  • Will I do anything different the next time?
  • What did I learn?
  • Am I pleased with the project?

Based on The BIG6 Problem-Solving Model

Other Research Models

The Big6™ Skills

The Big6 is a process model of how people of all ages solve an information problem. From practice and study, we found that successful information problem-solving encompasses six stages with two sub-stages under each:

1. Task Definition

1.1 Define the information problem

1.2 Identify information needed

2. Information Seeking Strategies

2.1 Determine all possible sources

2.2 Select the best sources

3. Location and Access

3.1 Locate sources (intellectually and physically)

3.2 Find information within sources

4. Use of Information

4.1 Engage (e.g., read, hear, view, touch)

4.2 Extract relevant information

5. Synthesis

5.1 Organize from multiple sources

5.2 Present the information

6. Evaluation

6.1 Judge the product (effectiveness)

6.2 Judge the process (efficiency)

(taken from the BIG6 website:

Comparison of different models

(from Information Studies K-12: Inquiry and Research by the Ontario Library Association