Charts, Maps, and Graphic Organizers for Identifying Research Question
Inquiry Charts are helpful to organize ideas and identify research questions. They can help you link ideas and see emerging questions. Charting provides a structure for you to sort through the notes, ideas and questions in your inquiry journals to make a decision for identifying an inquiry question.
Use theas a guide so you can create charts that visualize any ideas, issues, conflicts, relationships, and strategies that emerge.
University of Santa Cruz-Choose a Research Topic- The University of Santa Cruz gives 5 simple steps students can use, with the help of charting, to determine a topic to use in their research.
Chart to Decide Protocol
- Review-reflect on the inquiry log and the contents of the journal to chart ideas and information to decide on a question to pursue.
- Reconsider-Identify what is interesting to you. Mark what is interesting with a highlighter.
- Visualize your questions-Create a chart of your ideas, look for similarities and differences, write a question that represents the ideas in your chart, identifying the three most interesting questions that allow you to do the following:
- Explore, explain, analyze and interpret information
- Examine from different points of view
- Apply understandings to new situations
- Share with your inquiry circle-In your circle consider the following questions to help you identify the direction of your inquiry:
- How much time do I have?
- How much information is available?
- What are my learning goals?
- Am I interested in this?
Choose Your Research Question
- Reflect on your charts/organizers from the previous lesson.
- For each topic, write as many questions as you can about each topic that would be used for further research. Turn any of your statements into questions to assist with this process.
- Set aside your generated questions for later use.
- You may work independently or in inquiry circles help you create “big and deep” questions that could be asked about your topic that will require a more indepth analysis and provide you with a more focused path to your original research
- Refer back to your list of questions and eliminate or edit your questions that do not require more depth and analysis to at least three questions.
- Use charting to help prioritize the remaining questions. Use the chart to visualize, synthesize, and organize multiple ideas to make a final decision on your research question.
- Review journals and logs, charts, reread core sources, and discuss remaining questions with your inquiry circle to choose the best research question.
Your teacher or library media specialist will need to approve your research question.
Research Question Approval Form