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.

FAIR School Crystal Library Media Center: Resources Grades 6-8

6-8 Grade Resources

6-8 Grade Resources

Destiny Catalog Search

All subjects

eBooks Middle School

Research Process

Step 1: Question

Students: Your goal in this first step is to learn enough about your topic to identify a specific question to answer or a hypothesis to test.

Write a specific research question or hypothesis.

  • What do you know about your assignment? 
  • What do you know about your topic? 
  • What do you want to know? 
  • What's the question or problem you will focus on? 

Tools for gathering background information on a topic:

Starting with these 2 resources will help you learn enough about your topic to form a good research question AND help you understand the keywords you should use to gather information (Step 2).

Tools for developing good questions

Step 2: Gather

Your goal is to locate, retrieve, read, evaluate, and record information related to your research question or hypothesis.

  • Where will you look for information? 
  • What search tools will you use to find the best information to answer your question? 
  • What keywords will you use (watch the video below) ? 
  • How will you identify the best sources? 
  • How will you record what you find? 
  • How will you give credit to your sources?


Where to search?

1. In the Destiny Library catalog and MackinVia located in the upper left of this page.

2. Use the Britannica School Encyclopedia on the left and the library databases and search engines linked in the right column.


Important: Create a list of resources and record notes from sources. You may create your own document, use NoodleTools or make a copy of this Data Collection Form.


Watch the video below to understand how to select Keywords that will get you the best information for your topic:

Step 3: Conclude and Organize

Your goal in this step is to reflect on what you have learned, draw a conclusion, and then organize your information to support that conclusion.

Confirm thesis (hypothesis) and outline main points.

  • What did you learn from reading, listening, and viewing? 
  • How will you organize the information you found to answer your question or defend your hypothesis?

Tools for taking notes, drawing conclusions and organizing information:

  • NoodleTools' notes feature can be used to record and organize notes.
  • A visual thinking too such as Coggle, may be useful for generating ideas and creating a visual outline of your ideas.

Step 4: Communicate your conclusions

Your goal in this step is to communicate your conclusion and supporting points to your audience. 

  • If your teacher specifies the format, follow instructions.

  • If you choose the format, consider your audience and the tool that best communicates your message.

  • Always keep your due date in mind!

  • Consult with your library media specialist on selecting and using various technology tools.

Click the Tools tab to find a variety of options for communicating your ideas.

Step 5: Evaluate

Your goal in this step is to evaluate your completed product and the process you used.

Consider your assignment and the product you created and ask yourself:

Step 1: Question

  • Is the completed product exactly what you were assigned to do?
  • Did you do adequate preliminary research on your topic?
  • Did you formulate a compelling question?

Step 2: Gather

  • Did you use sources in a variety of formats?
  • Did you ask a professional for assistance in finding information?
  • Did you use carefully selected keywords to search for your information?
  • Did you evaluate the credibility and purpose of your resources?
  • Did you use a reliable system to record your information?

Step 3: Conclude

  • Did you adequately answer your original question or prove your hypothesis?
  • Did you support your thesis with authoritative sources?
  • Did you build on your understanding of the subject?
  • What new information did you learn or create about your topic?

Step 4: Communicate

  • Has your work been carefully reviewed and edited?
  • Is your work complete? Is it neat?
  • Does it include a Title (page, slide or clip) and a Works Cited or Bibliography page?
  • Are your sources credited in the proper format?

Step 5: Evaluate

  • Check your work against the Rubric or guidelines provided by your teacher. Did you include all the required elements/content?
  • Would you be proud for anyone to view your work?
  • Which of the previous steps did you do best?
  • What have you learned from this process?
  • How can you improve next time?

Examples of possible rubrics:

English - Middle School

Math - Middle School

Science - Middle School

Social Studies Middle School

Middle School Research Tools

Databases (library search engines)

Databases (Introductory)

Practical Tools for life!

Image   4148 Winnetka Ave. N.  |  New Hope, MN 55427
Phone: (763) 504-8000  |