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MYP Personal Project

A guide to help you through the research process

Keywords & Mind-mapping

Find keywords

  1. Think of the main concepts in your research topic
  2. Expand your keywords by finding synonyms, related terms or broader terms
  3. Limit down your search by using narrower or more specific keywords
  4. Make connections between concepts and keywords and try different combinations in a database

Mind mapping

How to start a mindmap

  • Start in the middle of a blank page, writing or drawing the idea you intend to develop. Landscape orientation for the page usually works best.
  • Develop the related sub-topics around this central topic, connecting each of them to the centre with a line.
  • Repeat the same process for the sub-topics, generating lower-level sub-topics as you see fit, connecting each of those to the corresponding sub-topic.

Useful tools:

Research for sources

Evaluate information

The acronym CRAAP stands for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose. These are criteria that can help you evaluate sources of information you have retrieved.

Asking the questions indicated here about each website, document or piece of information that you find will help you decide which ones are relevant for your project.

Currency: the timeliness of information    

  • Does your topic require current information, or will older sources work as well?

  • When was the information posted or published? 

  • Is the information current or out-of-date for your topic?

  • Has the information been revised or updated?    

  • Are the links functional?

Relevancy:  the importance of the information for your needs

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?

  • Who is the intended audience?

  • Is the information at an appropriate level?

  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before choosing the one?

  • Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?

Authority:  the expertise of the source.

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?

  • Are the author’s credentials or organizational affiliation given?

  • What are the author’s qualifications to write on the topic?

  • Is there contact information to reach the author or the publisher?

  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source? (examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net)

Accuracy:  the reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content

  • Where did the information come from?

  • Is the information supported by evidence?

  • Is there a bibliography, or has someone reviewed the source?

  • Can you verify the information in another source?

  • Are there spelling, grammar, or typographical errors?

Purpose:  the reason the information exists

  • What is the purpose of the information?

  • Does the author or sponsor make their intentions and purpose clear?

  • Is the information fact, opinion, or propaganda?

  • Does the language or tone seem biased or is it free from emotion?

  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?

Citing your sources

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