Welcome to OT100!
This guide provides additional resources you may find helpful as you take this course. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask your librarian!

This course has materials on course reserve. To see the full list of resources and their current availability click the link below:
Course Reserves for OT100 - Introduction to the Old Testament 

Course reserves are available at the Circulation Desk. You may check out up to three items at a time for a three hour loan period. Reserves may be renewed up to two times if they are not on hold for another patron. If you check out a reserve within one hour of the library's closing, you may keep it overnight and return it within one hour of opening the following day. Overdue reserve items accumulate a fine of $1 per hour.
Seminary Librarian
 Photo of Myka Kennedy Stephens
Deaconess Myka Kennedy Stephens
Seminary Librarian and Assistant Professor of Theological Bibliography

Feel free to schedule an appointment with me to discuss your research needs. Click the button above to sign up for an available time.
What is Big6?
The Big6 is a process model that can help you solve any kind of information problem. While you are in seminary, most of your information problems will be written assignments. Information problems will follow you to your place of ministry, and likely plague you at home, too. The Big6 is a way of thinking about problem solving that can help you organize yourself and guide you toward a successful resolution.

The six stages of the Big6 are:
  1. Task Definition
    1. Define the information problem
    2. Identify information needed
  2. Information Seeking Strategies
    1. Determine all possible sources
    2. Select the best sources
  3. Location and Access
    1. Locate sources (intellectually and physically)
    2. Find information within sources
  4. Use of Information
    1. Engage (e.g., read, hear, view, touch)
    2. Extract relevant information
  5. Synthesis
    1. Organize from multiple sources
    2. Present the information
  6. Evaluation
    1. Judge the product (effectiveness)
    2. Judge the process (efficiency)
These stages do guide you from definite starting point through a linear flow to an ending point, however, as you work with the Big6 you may find it necessary and helpful to revisit stages as you move through the process. For example, as you enter stage 4 and begin to use the information you've located, you may find that the information is not helping you answer your questions. Revisiting your questions (stage 1) or refining your search for information (stages 2 and 3) may be helpful before proceeding any further.

Benefits of Big6 include providing a prescriptive framework for approaching your assignments, helping you to organize your work, giving you a set of tasks to complete that can be planned out and scheduled, and prompting you to assess yourself and the process for growth and improvement.

Big6 and Interpretive Essay #2
Using the Big6 Skills process model approach, here are some steps that may help you work through writing your second interpretive essay. This application of Big6 to your assignment is also available in a printable handout:   OT100ResearchTutorial.pdf pdf 

Step 1: Task Definition
Once you have completed your analysis, a question will emerge that will direct your research. Use your knowledge of biblical studies to identify whether this question is literary, historical, translational, social world, reader-oriented, etc. Is there anything you don't understand or aren't sure about? Ask for help!

Step 2: Information Seeking Strategies
How would your question be answered? Will you be looking for a certain type of information or interpretation from a particular perspective or voice? Use your training in biblical studies resources to identify the types of resources that are most likely to address your question. Think about where you will look to find them.

Step 3: Location and Access
This is when you go to the library and/or look things up on the Internet. The library has numerous tools available both on- and off-campus to help you locate scholarly resources. The library catalog, ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials (available via EBSCOhost), and Oxford Biblical Studies Online are all excellent places to start your search. Keep in mind that scholarly resources are connected to other scholarly resources. If one doesn't quite address your question, check its notes and bibliography and/or use linked metadata in the record to find similar resources.

Step 4: Use of Information
Once you have gathered your resource(s), engage in the reading stage. Read for purpose: skim, scan, and take notes. Keep track of your sources so they can be correctly cited within your assignment and in your works cited list. As you are reading, ask how these resources are informing your question. If they aren't, then go back and repeat some of the earlier stages.

Step 5: Synthesis
This is the organization and processing stage. Pay particular attention to whether or not there is a difference of scholarly opinion on your question. If so, what seems to be the underlying reason for the difference? Can you identify the basis on which the scholars differ and how it relates to your question? 

Step 6: Evaluation
When you have finished this part of the assignment, take a step back and ask yourself, "How did it go?" Were you able to answer your question, or at least understand it at a deeper level? Do you still have questions that are unanswered? Are there any parts of the process (Step 1 through Step 5) that you would do differently next time? 
Writing Center
Need writing help or coaching?

Our writing coaches can help with any course assignment as well as any other type or project or application you are working on in your place of ministry. We work with you via email, by appointment, or during office hours. You can find us in the Schaff Library Conference Room or click below:
Big6 Resources
Big6 Skills Overview

Big6 Writing Process Organizer by Barbara Jansen

 Big6SkillsOverview.pdf pdf - printable handout

 Big6SkillsWorksheet.pdf pdf - printable handout
Big6 Logo
Task DefinitionTask Definition
Information Seeking Strategies Information Seeking Strategies
Location and Access Location & Access
Use of Information Use of Information
Synthesis Synthesis
Evaluation Evaluation