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I-Search Process Reflection Chart

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I-Search Process Reflection Chart

Grades 9 – 12
Printout Type Graphic Organizer
I-Search Process Reflection Chart



Because the written I-Search paper addresses the research process as much as the product or results of the research, students need time and space to reflect on and record their day-to-day progress.  This chart asks students to consider their challenges and successes across the span of the research process, from question formulation to the final write-up.

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  • At the beginning of the I-Search process, model some possible responses in the area of “Formulating Questions.”  After doing so, invite students to share some of their responses verbally before asking students to being recording some of their thinking in writing.
  • Offer additional modeling as students move to each new step in the research process.  Doing so not only reinforces the kinds of reflective thinking they will need for their papers, but it also gives you a chance to discuss how the process is actually not linear.  A challenge in finding sources, for example, naturally takes the researcher back into the question formulation stage.
  • Check students’ reflections frequently, both to offer feedback on how thorough and thoughtful they are being and to respond to some of the challenges they are facing.


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  • At certain points in the process, encourage students to being translating the daily notes into paragraphs of connected reflective writing.
  • This chart merely represents a model for recording daily reflections, and might be used early on in the process to demonstrate for students.  After students understand the goals of the chart, they may wish to record reflections in a notebook, on a folder containing some of their printed research, on sticky notes, or on a research process blog.


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Grades   8 – 12  |  Strategy Guide

Promoting Student-Directed Inquiry with the I-Search Paper

The sense of curiosity behind research writing gets lost in some school-based assignments. This Strategy Guide provides the foundation for cultivating interest and authority through I-Search writing, including publishing online.