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This is the "Getting Started" page of the "Research Process" guide.
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Research Process  

Last Updated: Feb 21, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Getting Started Print Page

Immersion -- Get Into Inquiry

What have you been doing in class?  Have you recently read a book together, seen a film, taken a field trip or listened to a guest speaker?  Think about that experience.  What ideas or concepts stood out for you as particularly interesting?


Information Search Process

Kuhlthau, Carol C. Seeking Meaning: A Process Approach to Library and Information Services. 1st ed. 1993; 2nd ed. 2004.


Essential Questions for Research

What makes a good research project?
How do you know when you need information?
How do you know when you have enough information to ask an important question, make an informed decision, or present a solid argument?
How are you going to start looking for information? What big questions do you have about your topic?
How do you know where to look for information? What types of sources will be most useful?


Selection -- Choosing a Topic for Inquiry

Before you can begin a project that involves asking, researching, answering, and presenting, you need to have a topic.  Before you can decide on your topic, there are a few things to think about:

  • What interests you?  Has there been one idea, topic, or concept in class that grabbed your interest?  Even if this particular subject (History, Science, Literature, etc.) isn't your favorite, there is probably a way to involve your interests and passions in this inquiry process.
  • What are the requirements of the assignment?  How much time do you have?
  • What essential questions have been posed in your class?  How can the themes you have been studying together inform the idea or topic you will explore?

Once you have identified a fascinating topic or idea that fits with the issues you are studying, you are ready to explore -- seek out some general information about the topic to build your knowledge.

Research in Writer's Reference Center


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