When you are solving an information problem of answering a research question, you follow a research process or research steps. It is like climbing steps to your answers.
The first step is preparing for research. This is the step where you brainstorm ideas and possible sources of information; narrow your topic to make it manageable; and plan how you are going to do your research.
The second step is accessing resources. This is the step where you decide what sources of information will be best; find them; and locate the information in them that might be helpful in answering your information question.
The third step is processing information. This is the step where you look closely at the information from your sources; decide what is important; and take notes. Then you organize your information; make sense of it; and develop your own ideas about it.
The fourth step to successfully solving your information problem is to transfer your learning. This is the step where you take your ideas and the information that helped you come to them and plan, create and present to other people, your findings and solutions.
* There are other models for the research process, including the Big6 model, created by Michael Eisenberg and Bob Berkowitz, which involves six steps. In the Research Map you will find links to Web pages created by Mrs. Gibson, who uses the Big6 model. She has developed several excellent pages to help with the research process and they are linked for you in the appropriate places in the Four Steps Research Map.
* For Teachers and Teacher-Librarians: This research process is inquiry-based. It is a critical thinking process. You will find that this information problem-solving model will be most helpful as you develop program to enable students to meet the expectations set by the curriculum.