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QUEST - MMSD Research Model: Understand

Question, Understand, Evaluate, Synthesize, Transform - MMSD research process in the Common Core State Writing Standards

QUEST Research Model

Eagleton, Maya B., and Elizabeth Dobler. Reading the Web: Strategies for Internet Inquiry. New York:  Guilford, 2007. Print. 
(Reprinted with permission of the Guilford Press)

Understand: What will help me the most?

Before beginning your research ask yourself these questions.

1.  What kind of information will you need?

     Do you want facts? Opinions? News reports? Research Studies? Analyses? Personal reflections? History? Primary sources?

2.  Where are you likely to find this information?

    Which sources are most likely to be useful? Research databases? Academic journals? Newspapers? Government records? The Internet? Expert?

3.  How much information do you need?

   How many sources of information are you looking for?  Do you need to view both sides of the issue?

4.  How do you find what you are looking for?

   How do you select specific keywords, terms, and phrases in research databases and search engines?

Types of Sources


  • Looking for lots of information on a topic
  • To find historical information
  • To find summaries of research to support an argument

Internet Websites:

  • Primary and secondary sources 
  • Requires skilled internet keyword searching strategies
  • Need to verify whether it is a credible resource

Personal Expert:

  • Could be primary or secondary source
  • Need to verify credentials of expert
  • Possibility of accessing a personal interview via technology 




Click on your school

library portal for

research databases available

to MMSD students



  • Articles written for non-experts
  • Analysis of current events
  • Personal narratives and opinions
  • interviews of well-known people
  • Reviews of products, movies and performances



Academic Journals:

  • Original research
  • Critical analysis
  • Review of prior research (Literature review)
  • Often peer reviewed
  • Intended for experts


  • Current information about international, national and local events
  • Editorials, commentaries, expert or popular opinions
  • Breaking news
  • Investigative reports


  • Background information about a topic
  • Find key ideas, important dates or concepts
  • Statistics, charts, tables
  • Maps

Check these out!