• Research, Research, Research

    Addresses Criterion A Strand iii

    demonstrates excellent research skills


    Research is an important Approach to Learning that you need to develop in the Personal Project.  The IB divides Research Skills into two categories, Information Literacy (finding, interpreting, judging and creating information) and Media Literacy (interacting with media to use and create ideas and information).  It is vital that you show that you are familiar with both of these areas.  Your Process Journal is the place where you can record your work to show that you have mastered your Research Skills.

    Here are some ways that you can show your Information Literacy skills

    • Collect, record and verify data
    • Make connections between sources of information
    • Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and make informed decisions
    • Process data and report results
    • Evaluate and select information sources based on their appropriateness to specific tasks
    • Use critical literacy skills to analyze and interpret media communications
    • Create references and citations, use footnotes/endnotes and construct a bibliography according to recognized conventions

    Whichever of these skills you use should be recorded in your Process Journal.


    Here are some ways that you can show your Media Literacy skills

    • Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use sources from a variety of sources and media
    • Demonstrate awareness of media interpretations of events and ideas
    • Seek a range of perspectives from multiple and varied sources
    • Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats
    • Compare, contrasting and drawing connections among (multi)media resources

    Whichever of these skills you use should be recorded in your Process Journal.


    Go back to the list of possible sources you made in the Planning section of the guide.  Begin to work through the sources you want to use.  It is important to make sure that the sources you are using are strong, relevant sources. 


    There are many other ATL skills that you can demonstrate with research.  Keeping your sources organized and together shows Organization.   Evaluating the sources, looking at the Project from the multiple perspectives of different sources and interpreting data you find all demonstrate Critical Thinking.  Taking what you learn from your research and applying it to the Project indicates that you know how to Transfer skills and information.     

    Getting the Most from Your Sources

    To make sure that your research supports your project, it is important to get everything that you need from your sources.

     Sometimes people limit their research to websites and books.  While these are both excellent sources, be sure that you do not limit yourself.  You can also use

    • Face to Face Interviews
    • Phone interviews
    • Surveys
    • Email Interviews
    • Observations


    There are several forms that you can use to organize your sources when they arrive.  Keep in mind that proper research is also a way to show Self-Management (through Organization)

    In addition to keeping all of the bibliographic information that you will need, be sure to take the time to evaluate the sources.  You can look at the sources from the following perspectives.








    Where is the info from?


    When was it published/ posted?


    Who is creator?


    What are the creator’s credentials?



    What is purpose of the source?


    What perspective is being conveyed?


    Is the purpose clear?


    Is it fact, opinion or propaganda?


    Does it appear impartial?


    Is this useful?


    How can I apply it?


    Has the info been reviewed/ critiques?


    Can you verify the information?

    Is this reliable?


    Is it objective or subjective?


    What are the biases of the creator?






    Another way to look at the information you collect uses the following pieces


    Authority – Who is responsible for presenting this information?

    • Who has written or provided this information and can you check their qualifications?
    • Is the information from an ‘expert’ in this field?

    Accuracy – Is the information accurate, can it be proven and verified?

    • Is the information correct?
    • Can you check the accuracy of information through links, footnotes and bibliography?

    Objectivity – Is the information based on facts, things you can observe or based more on opinions and emotions? Is it from just one point-of-view?

    • Is there personal bias?
    • Can you verify that facts, statistics and links to sources are accurate and truthful?

    Currency – How old is the information and is this important?

    • Has the author(s) provided a date for when the information was written?
    • Has the information been revised or updated, and if so, when?

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