Before learning how to determine your research needs, let’s first define exactly what research is. Research is the investigation of a particular topic using a variety of reliable, scholarly resources. The three major goals of research are establishing facts, analyzing information, and reaching new conclusions. The three main acts of doing research are searching for, reviewing, and evaluating information. Learning what research is not may help you fully grasp the concept. Randomly selecting books from the library is not research, nor is surfing the Internet. On the contrary, research requires organization, resourcefulness, reflection, synthesis, and above all, time. Now that you know what research is, let’s define the research process.
Lesson 2: What is the Research Process?
The research process is the methodical approach to finding and examining a variety of reliable, scholarly resources on a particular topic. The research process has a beginning and an end, with many stages or steps in between. Each one of these steps is built upon the foundation of information. Brainstorming ideas, searching for resources, and analyzing ideas are all information-based activities. Just like DNA is the building blocks of life, information is the building blocks of the research process. That’s why learning how to find, evaluate, and use information is essential to successfully engaging in and completing the research process. Sound like a lot? Well, it is. But fear not: you can easily manage the research process by dividing it into six major steps. Unit 1: The Research Process
Lesson 3: The Research Process in Six Steps
The six major steps of the research process are listed below. Carefully complete each step to create a well defined and thoroughly researched paper or presentation. But prepare to be flexible. You may have to go back a step, skip a step and return to it later, or revise a completed step. The Six Steps of the Research Process
Step 1: Determining Research Needs
Step 2: Defining a Research Topic
Step 3: Developing a Search Strategy
Step 4: Conducting the Search
Step 5: Evaluating Resources
Step 6: Citing Resources
The Edison State College Libraries' Research Tutorial will take you through each step of the Research Process.
Unit 1: The Research Process
Lesson 4: How Do I Get Started?
The first step in the research process is determining your research needs. To complete this step, you must consider what kind of research project your professor has assigned. You need to determine the amount, date, format, and type of information you will need. Unit 2: Determining Research Needs
Lesson 1: Assignment Type
Lesson 2: Amount of Information
Lesson 3: Publication Date
Lesson 4: Publication Types
Lesson 5: Primary & Secondary Sources
Lesson 6: Format Types
Lesson 7: Point of View
Lesson 8: Getting Organized
Lesson 1: Assignment Type
Assignments can vary in scope from a short, five-minute oral presentation to a twenty-page research paper. To determine assignment type, ask yourself: Has my professor assigned a critique, summary, book review, essay, annotated bibliography, research paper, presentation, or other type of assignment? Lesson 1: Assignment Type
Assignments can vary in scope from a short, five-minute oral presentation to a twenty-page research paper. To determine assignment type, ask yourself: Has my professor assigned a critique, summary, book review, essay, annotated bibliography, research paper, presentation, or other type of assignment? Lesson 3: Publication Date
Some assignments require you to find current, up-to-date information, while others require you to use historical data: information on a particular topic that was created or published during a specific period of time. Still other assignments don’t require you to find information published during a specific period of time. To determine if you need current or dated resources, ask yourself:...