Skip to Main Content

F6 Research Task: Introduction

The task

The task
•Identify something that intrigues you about what you have recently studied or are about to study
•Investigate this further using the scholarly resources available to you in and through the library
•State briefly:
  • what you have chosen
  • why you considered it to be worthy of further investigation and
  • something of what you have found out (beyond what you already knew when you started).

Note: this should be a new, original piece of work, not something that you have submitted before.

Success criteria

The task should take 1-2 hours. There is no fixed word limit but as a rough guide you are expected to write around 500 words. If you are particularly enthusiastic about your topic and want to write more than this, that's fine but it is not necessary.

Everyone is expected to:
  • Use the FOSIL investigative journal to record the results of their investigation before starting to write the essay. You will be expected to hand this in with your essay and learning to use it effectively is an important part of the task.
  • Use scholarly resources and cite all the resources you use
  • Your citations must include:
    • at least one of Britannica or Oxford Reference online
    • another subscription database
  • We encourage you to also include a book or e-book
  • You may also include references to other sources such as websites, magazines, newspapers, TV or radio programmes, films, podcasts etc. but please make an effort to choose reputable (trustworthy), academic sources.

Deadline and submission

The task is due by 6pm on Monday September 19th and both your essay and your investigative journal should be submitted electronically via Microsoft Teams.

Why does inquiry matter?

[This video only has a music soundtrack - it can be fully understood without listening to the audio]

We live in a rapidy changing world, where those who do not know how to learn for themselves quickly get left behind. School can't teach you everything you will ever need to know - much of it hasn't even been invented yet. We can, however, give you a solid foundation of core knowledge to build on and the skills to keep building your knowledge and understanding throughout your life, by finding out for yourself. These are inquiry skills.

Tasks like this essay are designed to build your inquiry skills. The final essay is as important as you make it. Its value depends entirely on how much you invest in it - but the real value of the task lies in the skills you develop along the way.

To find out more about inquiry and FOSIL have a look at the tab on The Inquiry Process.

Yes, but really, what's the point?

If that's all a bit abstract for you, think about the opportunities that this task gives you personally:

  • to explore a topic that really interests you and share it with others - your tutor, your subject teachers in the topic you have chosen, anyone who will listen?
  • to get a head start on something that could potentially be the seed for an Extended Essay for IB students, or an Extended Project Qualification for A-level students.
  • to develop your inquiry skills and learn how to use the resources the Library has to offer, in preparation for any coursework and other inquiries you might need to do during your time in Upper School and beyond at university.

Notice for Mac users

Important notice for Mac users using Safari:
If you are having any problems accessing the embedded videos, this is probably because you have "Prevent cross-site tracking" switched on, which is the default option in Safari. You have two choices. You can either turn this setting off and refresh your browser screen (at which point the videos should allow you to sign in and should work) or you can use a different browser.
There are instructions below for turning off "Prevent cross-site tracking" in Safari. If you want to use a different browser, I use Firefox (available free here), but there are many other choices available.

Normal term-time Library opening hours:
Mon-Fri: 08:30-21:15
Sat: 08:00-16:00
Sun: 14:00-18:00