Topic 6 Tracking progress
In this section we have looked at the wide variety of resources on offer which you can use to find information – search engines, gateways, databases and library catalogues. We have seen just how much information is waiting to be found; now we need to decide how we will keep track of our explorations.
However big or small the project you are doing, whether it's for personal interest or as part of a programme of study, it's a good idea to keep a list of which resources you plan to use, where you're going to look for information and what you're going to look for. This will help you plan how you will carry out your investigation. If you also record the results of your investigations this will make writing up your results easier too.
You will probably want to keep some sort of diary, journal or log book to track the progress of your thinking and learning. In the diary you may want to record details of:
- Places you have looked or need to look
- Useful search terms
- Contacts who can help you with one aspect or another of your work
- Decisions you are making as you go along e.g. when particular bits of information have caused you to shift your thinking
- Things that didn't work out e.g. search terms that were too broad
On the next page we will look at the research log of one student, Sarah.