Skip to main content

Step by Step: Details of the Research Process

General

Once you have a list of resources that you want to use for your research, it is time to get a hold of them so that you can actually get to the real work of reading, understanding and finally writing. This is another chance to determine if there is enough authoritative information on your topic.

It will actually save you time and decrease your stress level if you don't wait until the last minute to locate the books and articles you want to use, because if we don't have them, you can request that those materials be borrowed from a different library. Learn more about borrowing from InterLibrary Loan.

As you locate your books and articles, make sure you note all the information that you will need to create a bibliography for your paper. It is very easy to end up with content from a really useful article/chapter/webpage, but not have all the pieces necessary to create a reference. If you are unsure, ask your professor what format you need to follow and then go to the Citing Sources tab above to learn more about how to cite in a particular style.

Research Flowchart

  1. Select Topic
    1. Do Background Reading
    2. Narrow/Broaden Search
    3. Create Thesis Statement
  2. Develop Search Strategy
    1. Create list of keywords
    2. List questions to be answered
    3. Write a draft outline
  3. Gather Materials
    1. Books
    2. Articles
    3. Web Sites
  4. Decide if the information is appropriate. Evaluate for
    1. Currency
    2. Reliability
    3. Authority
    4. Accuracy
    5. Point of View