This is the "I-Search" page of the "I-Search" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

I-Search   Tags: i-search, research  

Research strategy for informative writing.
Last Updated: Oct 20, 2009 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

I-Search Print Page



The concept of the I-Search paper (as opposed to the research paper) is based on the work of professor Ken Macrorie (who wrote The I-Search Paper after collaborating with many teachers on curriculum for searching writing), and has been widely adapted nationally at all grade levels. Macrorie's premise is that the traditional textbook and traditional research paper "embalm" the subjects they hope to educate readers about. In order to resuscitate the genre of informative writing, the I-Search paper is written in first person (no hidden author) and may include a journal about the searching process.

I-Search Project Example Link

Below is a link to an example of an I-Search project.


I-Search Characteristics

Characteristics of an I-Search Unit

  • The unit is motivating, capitalizing on students innate curiosity to explore topics of importance to both them and their community.
  • By exploring a topic, the I-Search opens doors to knowledge, showing students the different ways to locate information.
  • Peer review and activities may also be used, the I-Search fosters collaboration among students who have diverse abilities, talents, and skills.
  • Students must think critically as they integrate and evaluate information from different sources.
  • By marrying process to product, the I-Search offers students creative outlets to represent knowledge.
  • When teachers link the I-Search to standards in the key content areas, the inquiry process can support the construction of knowledge around key understandings.
  • The research process encourages teachers and students to meaningfully use a variety of technology tools.
  • The unit aligns with national standards relating to developing inquiry skills across disciplines.
  • Students can strengthen web-based and online research skills.
  • Students may gather information: by reading books, magazines, newspapers, reference materials; by watching videos, filmstrips; by interviewing people or conducting surveys; by carrying out experiments, doing simulations, or going on field trips.


Some information contained in this libguide was used with permission from Milner Library at Illinois State University.

Original I-Search ©2009 by Michele Roberts, I-Search is based upon Searchpath © by the Board of Trustees of Western Michigan University which incorporates material from TILT, a tutorial developed by the Digital Information Literacy Office for the University of Texas System Digital Library, © 1998-2004. This material may be reproduced, distributed, or incorporated only subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Searchpath Open Publication License.

Westwood High School Resource Center Specialist

Profile Image
Michele Roberts
Contact Info
Westwood High School
945 W. 8th St.
Mesa, Arizona 85201
Send Email

Resource Center Specialist

Profile Image
Karin Clapper
Contact Info
Adams Elementary School
Send Email

Franklin East Resource Center Specialist

Profile Image
Denise Lee
Contact Info
Franklin East Elementary Library
Send Email

Loading  Loading...