Create Create
Skill #1: Critical thinking: Analyze research findings.

At the Create stage you have developed a strong understanding of the research problem or task set before you, and you have searched and gathered appropriate information from a variety of sources. You are most likely feeling relief that the search and gather step is mostly complete.  Your next task is to go beyond the facts and perspectives that you have researched in order to create new meaning about your topic(s). If you began with a clear sense of focus, and a well-written research question, then you have been constructing a frame for organizing and writing your research project.  
As you continue your inquiry-based research process, you must apply these critical thinking skills to your understanding of the material you have gathered:
  • Analyze your research findings
  • Synthesize ideas and information
  • Organize ideas and information
  • Evaluate to go beyond facts and to make meaning
Think about this phase as a way to present your findings.  The word “findings” is important, because your findings represent not only the information that you have gathered, your findings also form the basis for your synthesis.  Your synthesis will include all the relevant information and ideas that you have gathered pulled through the lens of your personal perspective. This personal perspective involves going beyond the facts in order to interpret and extend meaning and make use of your information in a new way.   Use this guide to chart your synthesis and apply new meaning.  It will help you interpret all the information you have gathered.
Skill-builders & Tools


  • Review your notes.
  • Reread core sources.
  • Use summarizing strategies.
  • Divide your topic or concept in to parts in order to increase your understanding of it.
  • Use technology and other information tools to analyze and organize information.
  • Connect you understanding of the information to the real world.

Begin with a firm understanding of the term ANALYSIS.Then read over your notes in your Inquiry Logs and reflect on what you have learned about your research task through the information gathering process.  Be sure to demonstrate flexibility in the use of your resources by refining information strategies and by seeking additional information when it is evident that clear conclusions cannot be drawn.

Reflect on the ideas and information you have gathered by summarizing the ideas in your own words and by responding to those ideas.  Look for the information gaps, relationships, and patterns that emerge from your reflection.

Read this infographic about critical thinking tips.

critical thinking tips





inquiry logs

critical thinking



Student Resources

Use technology and other information tools to analyze and organize information.

one note note taking softwareever note note taking software

easy bib
Use the EasyBib Notebook Guide

penzu journaling tool

microsoft office log Microsoft Word Tutorials

Teacher Resources

Gr 9-12 Research Guide Standards Alignment

P21 Skills and Tools

Do Now: Gauge your progress by thoughtfully responding to the Analysis questions below.

  1. Have I discovered information gaps and filled them with more research?
  2. Have any main ideas emerged from the research?
  3. Why did the author or creator produce this?
  4. How does the evidence I found help me form an opinion or support my thesis?
  5. How have I addressed intriguing questions that I have about the topic or idea?
  6. Have  I found enough accurate information to answer all my questions?
  7. Have all my research questions been answered through this investigation process?

Do Next: Go to the next skill for Step 3: Create