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Steps in the research process


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When writing a research paper, it helps to follow a series of logical and progressive steps. this ensures a better end result!

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Steps in the research process

  2. 2. Understanding Your Project OK- at this point, you have your assignment and you’re thinking about how you’ll meet the requirements. It helps to read the assignment carefully.
  3. 3. Determining Scope Now, you decide how widely or narrowly you want to address your topic. Keep in mind that a topic that is too broad will give you too many resources to look through.
  4. 4. Finding a Research Question Not every paper requires a research question, but sometimes asking a question can help you think about how to find sources and determine an approach.
  5. 5. Determining Keywords Keywords are just general terms (like the ones you type into Google). Good keywords are also useful in he library catalog or databases.
  6. 6. Determining Search Strings Search strings help you do a more sophisticated search within a database. For example to find articles on people aged 2-18, a search string might be:(child OR teen) NOT (infant OR baby OR toddler)
  7. 7. Identifying Types of Searches Thinking about what types of library sources make the most sense.
  8. 8. Locating Sources You’ll find your sources: electronically, in print or through Interlibrary Loan.
  9. 9. Evaluating Sources Determine if your source is trustworthy and if it can contribute to your research.
  10. 10. Organizing Sources Creating a record of your sources so you can create a bibliography and properly cite your sources.
  11. 11. Writing In this step, you synthesize your findings and compose your paper.
  12. 12. Citing You should cite sources in your paper, whether you quote or paraphrase someone else’s ideas. You can do this parenthetically or by using footnotes.
  13. 13. Bibliography Create a list of sources you used in your paper.
  14. 14. Proofreading Read your paper before turning it in!