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Winman Library: Big 6 Research Model

Big 6 At a Glance

UMHS Library / Big6 Research Model



The Big6 is a six-stage model to help anyone solve problems or make decisions by using information. It is information literacy, inquiry, research skills, or an information problem-solving process.

Developed by Mike Eisenberg and Bob Berkowitz, the Big6 is the most widely known and widely used approach to teaching information and technology skills in the world. Used in thousands of K-12 schools, higher education institutions, and corporate and adult training programs, the Big6 information problem-solving model is applicable whenever people need and use information.

Click below for a short video on the Big 6 Research Model.

Source:  "What is the Big6" The Big6, 2019, Oct. 22, 2019.

Big 6 in Detail

Following these steps will help you to focus and stay organized while doing your research.

1. Task Definition

  • Define your assignment & identify information needed to complete it.

  • Restate the assignment in your own words. What are you interested in learning?

  • Gather basic information about your topic by reading articles, web pages etc.

  • Talking with teachers/parents/librarians is also helpful.

2. Information Seeking Strategies

  • Make a list of all possible sources & select the best ones.

  • Choose from nonfiction, news articles, reference books, web pages, databases, ebooks and multimedia encyclopedias.

3. Location and Access

  • Locate sources & find information within the texts.

  • Consult the library catalog, library reference section, search engines, and web-based references

  • Use a graphic organizer to map out your topic and sub topics

4. Use of Information

  • Engage with your source: read, hear, view & extract the most valuable information

  • Use skimming and scanning to find information that addresses your topic.

  • Look for keywords, pictures, read headlines and first & last paragraphs of articles to help find the “right” information.

  • Take notes – cite your source on your note card 

  • Summarize, paraphrase or quote.

  • Remember to cite each source you use. Use EasyBib

5. Synthesis

  • Choose the format of your project and organize your research notes according to how you will share the information.

  • If your format is a paper, begin by writing an outline.

  • If you are producing a PowerPoint or multi-media presentation, categorize your main bullet points and images. Different formats require different types of organization.

  • Present the information effectively by practicing and knowing your audience.

6. Evaluation

  • Judge the product (effectiveness). 

  • Judge the process (efficiency).

  • Did you meet your objective?

  • Judge the quality of your work.

  • Next, judge the quality of your presentation.

  • You can use criteria such as accuracy, content, creativity and legibility.

From:  Big6 Mike Eisenberg and Bob Berkowitz.