Where do I look?

First seven steps

  • Find an issue you feel the most connection with. The issue should be something that interests you and something that you want to take action on.
  • Write down the change you want to see.
  • Write down how you think the change might be achieved.
  • List all of the things you think you know about the issue, what you don’t know and what you want to find out.
  • Talk about the issue to your family, friends, teachers or a responsible adult in some other organisation outside the school.
  • Use books, internet and the media to find out information about your issue.
  • Observe the world around you. An inspiration for an action or change can come from a range of sources.

Sources of information

When looking for information on your topic, make sure that is a from a reliable source, is current and relevant to your issue. Here is a list of possible sources of information you can use and things you should look out for:

Books

several books
Although information found in books can be out-dated, in particular if you are looking at statistics, books are still the most reliable sources of information. By looking for your search terms on an index page or reviewing the contents page, you can easily find out if the book is relevant to your issue. Librarians can also assist you in searching for a suitable book.

Internet

wifi
When looking for information on the internet be aware that it is fairly easy to create a website and put content on it. If you are embarking on the exploration of a complex issue, Wikipedia is a good starting point to get your head around things. However, it should not be used as the only source of information.

Media
ipad with news title

The media will frequently report on topical political issues. You can use the Google News search function to find news articles on a specific issue. If you type next to your search term ‘radio’ the search will return radio shows which have covered this topic. This can often contain interviews with experts or callers.

Docos

video camera

In the past decade lots of films have been made on a range of issues, in particular global issues (e.g. environmental, poverty, arm conflicts). Documentaries or short independent films, which you can find on YouTube are good sources of information that can provide you with an overview and background information on an issue.

Research Template

http://passport.vec.vic.gov.au/title-goes-here/

This document can help you in your quest for further information. If you are taking action on an issue with a group of people you should divide areas of research. Once you have completed your research, consolidate and share your results.

View Article

Research Tips

  • Use variety of sources before you accept something as true.
  • Be aware of bias.
  • Investigate both sides of the argument on your issue.
  • Create a bibliography of all your sources.
  • Comments and forums will give you an understanding of what others think about a particular issue. Keep in mind that some people set up false identities in order to cause trouble or to encourage a certain point of view.
  • Government, university and reputable organisation (e.g. Oxfam on global issues) websites are reliable sources of information.