Unit 2 level
2. Step by Step
Ask a question, consider what resources
are available, locate, gather, select, compare ....
Now you've started planning ahead let's
look more closely at how and where to find the right information.
If you were planning a holiday, where would you go to find out
what was available? More is not necessarily better information,
but we can pick and choose later.
Let's brainstorm some of the available information sources.
Spend three or four minutes noting down as
many sources of information as you can think of for holiday planning.
When you've finished, go to the next page .
are some example websites - but don't forget that it's important
to do your own searches and investigate a variety of non-Web
materials too. So use a Search engine - and also get out and
www.guardianunlimited.co.uk/Archive/ (search for recent articles
When you find a
piece of information which is interesting, copy the important
bits and paste them into a word processor.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Each information source will have its own
prejudices, its own strengths and weaknesses. A newspaper may
select holiday information by what it thinks its readers want
- and might miss out places and holiday styles which are of interest
to you. Some travel guides emphasise the well-worn tourist routes
and expensive hotels, so you will have to choose your travel
guides carefully too. Friends and family may have different ideas
about what is a suitable holiday for you and suggest only the
type of holiday which they themselves enjoy.
Compare and Contrast
So your next task
is to compare the various pieces of information you've found
at different places and to compare and contrast them.
You'll have to interrogate the sources, for example:
Ask who what why where when and
Who wrote the piece
or who recommended it? Are they reliable? Do they know
what they're talking about? Have they been there? If it's a published
source, do you trust the publisher? is it a holiday brochure
which has an interest or a bias in selling this place? Who do
you want to go with?
What are they describing?
Is it the kind of holiday you really want - or is it just an
easy option and you can't be bothered to look elsewhere? What
are the advantages and disadvantages of the suggestions offered
Why is this holiday
better for you than that one? Why do you turn up your
nose at this one? Why do people regularly say that one
Where do you really
want to go? Where fits in best with your life, your dreams,
When can you go?
When is it most convenient for you to go? When
is the best time for that holiday, given the likely weather and
when it's popular, high season or low season? Look at the date
on the information - is it recent or out-of-date? (If there's
no date, suspect it...)
How are you going
to get there? How will you afford it? How do you
You must ask all these questions and more
if you want to be sure the information is balanced and thorough.
If you pasted extracts into your word processor you can now delete
any extracts which seem unsuitable (the trash), leaving you with
What you've done so far:
So now you've:
Asked the question
Brainstormed more questions
Thought about where you might find the answers
Found the resources to provide those answers
Chosen the best sources
Evaluation - If you haven't done these things properly go back
You must select the best information and
compare it to get the best answer.
It's unusual to find a single answer -
usually there are several possible answers, some of which might
However if you see the same information in several good quality
sources you can probably accept that it's true.
At the end of this unit you should have one or more holidays which match
your preferences, based on reliable information from a variety
Go on to Unit Three