Research Tips

Make that Project a Success!

Brainstorm Ideas
  • Write down your initial thoughts and personal interests:
  • What do you wonder about?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What class would you take if you could study anything?
  • What have you always wished you could do or make?
  • What do you care about and want to share with the world?
Choose a Topic & Pre-Search Broaden or narrow as needed
  • Broaden if you start finding too much information.
  • Narrow if you are having difficulty finding any information.
Ask Deeper Questions

Develop some deep questions that will take time to research. If you can find the answer quickly then it’s not really research! Learn about thick vs. thin questions and depth of knowledge.

Searching online can be tricky if you don’t use the right Example:

Thin: What is 3D printing?

THICK: How can 3D printing benefit students and school?

Think About Resources You Can Use

Think about using:

Try these search strategies
  • Write down your questions and then pull out the keywords.
  • Think of synonyms that could be used to describe the same word (e.g., live / habitat).
  • Check your spelling if you are not finding anything relevant.
  • Get more specific to narrow the information down by using a combination of keywords.
Gather & Evaluate Your Information

Think about where the information is coming from.

  • Is it reliable, current, and kid-friendly?
  • What aboutWikipedia?
  • Do you understand what you’re reading?
Take Notes & Cite Sources

Remember these note-taking tips:


  • A – Abbreviations
  • B – Bullet Points
  • C – Caveman Language
  • L – Lists
  • O – One Word for Several
  • U – Use Your Own Words

Learn about citing your sources. Use a “works cited” template.

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Safe Research Sources

Useful Tools to Use at Home!

DISCUS is South Carolina’s Virtual Library with educational and safe research  databases. Please contact Mrs. Rast  for login information.

BrainPOP is animated curricular content to help with homework or research projects. BrainPOP Jr can be found with the DISCUS website.

Explore various topics on DK Find Out! like you would find in the DK Eyewitness books we have in the library! Bonus material includes fun facts, videos, and quizzes.

KidRex is powered by Google SafeSearch™ technology. Please be mindful that if Wikipedia articles are found, those cannot be used for research purposes.

KidsClick! is a search engine designed for kids by librarians.

Visit Nat Geo Kids to find information on animals, countries, and more!

Visit Wonderopolis to explore “wonders that other kids are curious about.

Visit StudySC to find information about South Carolina’s culture, history, geography, government, and people.

Visit  America’s Story to meet amazing Americans, jump back in time to learn about American history, and explore the state! is the official kids’ portal for the U.S. government. Find information on  jobs, money, government, safety, social studies, and more!

Time for Kids Engage. Empower. Inspire.
Authentic journalism to motivate curious minds

What to do next? Add hyperlink to site name and picture to match each link. Please have this picture show up when the blue word depth of knowledge is clicked.