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F3 Inquiry Skills: Home

Resources to support the F3 Inquiry Skills Project


What is inquiry, and why?

Inquiry is a dynamic process of being open to wonder and puzzlement and coming to know and understand the world. As such, it is a stance that pervades all aspects of life and is essential to the way in which knowledge is created. 1

What does this process (series of actions) and stance (attitude) look like?

                The FOSIL Cycle of Inquiry


Being open to wonder and puzzlement and coming to know and understand the world…


The Machine rules - you have been warned 2 - an article based on E. M. Forster's short story, The Machine stops - asks whether we will come to value human contact more during these interesting times?

What do you think?

The Inquiry

Your mini-inquiry will be based around the question:

"Is the existence depicted in The Machine Rules inevitable?

In addition to the article you have read, and perhaps even the short story itself, this adaptation of the story will give you another version of events:

What is the existence depicted in The Machine Rules?

How does it compare with what we experienced before, during and after lockdown?

What is the current situation?  What is the Internet of Things?

Which elements of the IoT are in The Machine Stops? Can they be reversed - if not are they perhaps inevitable? Is this necessarily 'a nightmare'?

Using the Academic Writing Template, which you have already set up, tell us what your response is to the inquiry question.

Please make sure you save the document.

Reflecting on the project, what have you learned? What new skills have you mastered or improved? What do you still need to work on and how might you do this?

Investigating the Internet of Things

In order to carry out your investigation, you have a choice of material to watch and read.  As you investigate, make notes using the different methods outlined and then consider those in relation to the short story/article.  Make sure you also write down, on the note-taking sheets, details about the source you have used:

Are smart cities sinister? BBC Ideas video accessed via The Day, published 04/07/21

What is the Internet of Things (IoT)? by Jen Clark, from IBM Business Operations Blog, published 17/11/16

Academic Writing

Using the Academic Writing template allows you to produce work that looks smart; makes it easy for your teacher to identify and helps you to remember why and when you produced it.

Opening the template:

Download a copy of the F3 ISP Academic Writing Template from this guide  - on the right-hand side. 

Immediately, save your document so that none of the work you do gets lost or accidentally deleted:

  • File
  • Save As
  • Browse
  • Choose a sensible location in your workspace
  • Use F3ISP followed by your surname as the file name.

Setting up an academic document:

  • Turn on the hidden formatting by clicking this button  - in this way you can see where page breaks have been inserted and where new lines of text have begun; 
  • Add detail to the header - double-click in the header > Add name, set and date;
  • Add detail to the footer - double-click in the footer > Add title "F3 Inquiry Skills".  Add page number.

Adding a Table of Contents:

The ToC should be on a separate page at the start of your essay, so firstly insert a page break before the beginning of the text in the template:

  • Insert - Page break
  • Place the cursor back to the beginning of the document and click on the References tab
  • Click on Table of Contents
  • Choose Automatic Table 1 and watch the magic to happen!

Inserting a citation:

In the template, you will find the op ening paragraph below:

'The Machine rules – you have been warned' (The Day, 2020) is an article about The Machine Stops, a short story by EM Forster in which social distancing has become permanent, lives have been completely taken over by technology, and hardly anyone needs or wants to go outside. In this world ...

As the article you read came from a source, even though it was emailed to you, you need to add a citation.  The style we use in school is APA which is a code that, at a basic level, requires an author, a date and a page number:

  • Highlight (The Day, 2020) in the paragraph you copied as it is just a place holder;
  • Click on the References tab at the top of the page;
  • Insert citation;
  • Add new source;
  • This article is from a subscription database which we treat as a website, so choosing that in the menu gives you the fields you need to complete:
    • Corporate author 'The Day' for this article as no named individual author;
    • Webpage = title of the article = The Machine rules – you have been warned;
    • Website = The Day;
    • URL can be copied and pasted from the browser (via the link to the article on the right).  As this refers to an individual webpage, it takes the place of the page number in the citation code.

It should look like this:


Inserting, Captioning and Citing an image

Follow the instructions in the slide show below to learn how to do this.


Adding a bibliography:

This shows the range of sources you have consulted and taken ideas from:

  • Insert a page break at the end of your work - Insert > Page break or Ctrl + return/enter - as a bibliography should always have it's own page
  • References tab > Bibliography > Choose the top option - and, hey presto! a bibliography will appear.

Captioning images using the tools in Word

Captioning 1
Captioning 2
Captioning 3
Captioning 4
Captioning 5
Captioning 6
Captioning 7
Captioning 8
Captioning 9

Submitting your inquiry

Save your document somewhere sensible in your own filespace, then upload to your assignment in the F3 Inquiry Skills Team. Instructions are given below if you are unsure how to do this.

Submitting assignment to Teams

1. Go to the F3 Inquiry Skills Team and click to view the Assignment.

2. Click the "Add work" link.

3. Choose "Upload from this device".

4. Navigate to where you originally saved the file and double click on it or select it and click 'open'.

5. Select 'Done'.

6. Select 'Turn in'.

References and Notes

1 Galileo Educational Network. (n.d.). What is Inquiry? Retrieved from Galileo Educational Network – Inspiring a Passionate Commitment to Learning:

The Day. (2020, June 3). The Machine rules – you have been warned. Retrieved from The Day:

Documents to use during these sessions

The Machine Rules article

Use the F3 ISP Academic Writing Template for this inquiry as it has some content added already.

Use this Academic Writing Template for any school work that you want to look really professional

These FOSIL cycle worksheets will step you through the inquiry.

If you would like to know any more about using the citing and referencing tools in Word, or other aspects of academic writing, have a look at this guide

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