The Research Process
When you start research on a topic you generally begin with some broad ideas and then refine and focus the search as you begin to gather information. Keep a record of what you find and where you found it because not only will you need it for your project's bibliography, but you may need to re-visit some of the sources as you focus your search. There are several steps to this process: identify the topic; gather information; focus the research. You'll probably have to take the steps over and over a few times. As you proceed, you'll formulate a focused research question.
The Keys to Success:
Research is always a multi-step process; don't fool yourself! Be aware that Research is often inter-disciplinary.
Think broadly about your topic, then narrow and refine the focus. Keep a record of EVERYTHING you find, and where and how you found it. The research process is followed by the following eight steps. Step1: Identify the Problem
The first step in the process is to identify a problem or develop a research question. The research problem may be something the agency identifies as a problem, some knowledge or information that is needed by the agency, or the desire to identify a Recreation trend nationally.
Step 2: Review the Literature
Now that the problem has been identified, the researcher must learn more about the topic under investigation. To do this, the researcher must review the literature related to the research problem. This step provides foundational knowledge about the problem area. The review of literature also educates the researcher about what studies have been conducted in the past, how these studies were conducted, and the conclusions in the problem area.
Step 3: Clarify the Problem
Many times the initial problem identified in the first step of the process is too large or broad in scope. In step 3 of the process, the researcher clarifies the problem and narrows the scope of the study. This can only be done after...