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Research Help: Step 2: Gather Information

Gathering Your Information

Congratulations! You have chosen a topic and are ready to gather relevant (see next page for information about how to evaluate your resources) and fact-based evidence.  Once you have explored the resources, it is essential that you understand how to properly gather your information. Use the resources here to assist you in collecting information so it works for you.

  1. Use a graphic organizer/concept map/mindmap to help you organize your main ideas and consider the evidence/questions you have for each idea. These may be the areas you want to develop in your project or just questions you need to be answered. There is no right or wrong way to use a graphic organizer and there are a lot of options. Take a look at the box to the right for some options.
  2. Consider the keywords/main ideas. Often, a topic will have other terms that are similar to it that will provide relevant results for your project. Make sure you have listed words/phrases/terms that were used in your background research. For example, for a project on cigarettes, you may also want to search "smoking" or "tobacco."
  3. Keep track of where you've been. Nothing is worse than finding the perfect source and then forgetting what it was. There are several ways of tracking your sources
    • Use NoodleTools (see the notes page for more information)
    • In a Google/Word document paste the links you find useful and why.
    • Use the bookmark tool on your computer (only works if you are using your own computer)
    • Use an annotation tool. Several annotation tools are listed on the right. These tools are very helpful to gather all types of information.
  4. Take notes! (see the notes page for more information)

Research Tips