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Knowledge and Skills Statement

Inquiry and research: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts. The student engages in both short-term and sustained recursive inquiry processes for a variety of purposes.

Instruct students to use the notes they have gathered from multiple sources to organize information by subheadings or guiding questions. Task students with synthesizing the information gathered to form new ideas. To truly synthesize, students must come to a new understanding and should not simply restate or paraphrase research findings.

Further Explanation

Students are expected to synthesize information into a cohesive format such as a presentation or informational essay. Information shared by students can and should be presented in more than one way. They should use their knowledge about relevant and irrelevant information and create generalizations. At this point, they should also be able to determine whether they have enough information to proceed or whether they need to gather more information.

any communication medium, such as a book, a person, or an electronic device, that supplies information
An important step in research is using information from a variety of sources. Students should strive for a combination of primary and secondary sources to ensure a robust collection of supporting evidence. Once students have gathered their sources, they need to synthesize, or pull all the information together into a cohesive format (e.g., presentation, informational essay, etc.). For example, students who use online archives to view footage of a historical event and then read poetry written in response to that event could then create a collage of words and images that link the two and reflect the students’ personal response to the ideas in the texts.


1. Maniotes, L. K. (2019). Getting to great questions for inquiry and research. Teacher Librarian, 46(3), 17–20. Retrieved from

Summary: This article provides an overview on how to use guided inquiry as a means to increase students' capacity to comprehend a text. However, Guided Inquiry Design is often used as an inquiry process for research and ways to gain a deeper understanding and gain information. The article included embedded resources that provide additional support.

2. Grabe, W. & Zhang, C. (2013). Reading and writing together: A critical component of English for academic purposes teaching and learning. TESOL Journal, 4(1), 9–24.

Summary: Researchers reveal that writing in academic settings is complex and requires critical thinking and planning. Central to the planning is reviewing multiple sources and organizing the information in a way that is logical and makes sense. This article demonstrates a strategy that will improve the students' ability to review and synthesize information by identifying themes, patterns, opinions, and positions. This process is critical to various writing purposes and improves writing and reading comprehension. 

3. Ferlazzo, L. (2017, November 20). Response: Using questions that 'position students as meaning makers.' [Web log post]. Education Week Teacher. Retrieved from

Summary: This is one blog in a series of five that focuses on using questions to engage students in the teaching and learning process. One of the general outcomes of the questioning process is to promote students to think deeply by analyzing, comparing and synthesizing information instead of writing a static report of facts or information. Not only are students encouraged to ask questions, but teachers are also provided specific strategies to improve their own questioning skills. The questioning is both formal and informal. 

4. Composition Writing Studio. Argumentative essay/commentary. University of Purdue’s Online Writing Lab. Retrieved from

Summary: This online resource offers a complete overview of the writing processes and the components involved in each. The overview includes definition of terms, examples, graphs and charts as appropriate, and additional resources.

5. Klein, P. D., & Rose, M. A. (2010). Teaching argument and explanation to prepare junior students for writing to learn. Reading Research Quarterly, 45(4), 433–461.

Summary: In this study, Klein and Rose examine how students respond to various writing tasks and assignments. The teachers used the process writing approach, which included creating an outline, drafts, and a final paper. The revision and edit process lends itself to implementing teacher and peer oral and written feedback. The study reveals that there are specific as well as varied means to teach the writing process to students. Students must use prior knowledge and have access to relevant external sources (i.e. internet).