Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Research Process

Have you ever felt a little lost or confused when you begin the research process? If you have, you are certainly not alone! According to a study done and reported on by Project Information Literacy, 84% of students find that the most difficult part of the process is getting started.

Many students are surprised by the length of time it takes to properly research a topic. Since research is an iterative (repetitive) process, it will also seem like you are going in circles at times. This is normal. Going from topic, to keywords, to search results in a library database does not immediately lead to appropriate resources (books, articles, etc.) to support your thesis statement as you write your paper or put together your presentation. In fact, searching for resources often leads to further questions and a need to refine your thesis statement and key words. This in turn leads to more searching for and evaluating of resources. See what I mean about circular?

Here is a graphic representation of the process:

researchprocess title=
Created by Terri Bogan using easel.ly

Notice how this graphic gets a bit crowded and messy in the bottom right corner? Again, this is normal for the process. It is also why you need to start searching for resources early in the paper writing or presentation constructing process. Leave yourself enough time to make changes to your thesis statement, refine it, and obtain the most appropriate resources.

For a review of the research process, see our LibGuide on this topic.

Remember that you can always come by to see a librarian or make an appointment with one if you need help at any point during this process. This is why we are here!

Make an appointment with a librarian using our online form.
The pathway is http://library.hiu.edu > Research Assistance > Meet with a Librarian


Terri Bogan is Reference & Instruction Librarian at Hope International University. She is passionate about helping students navigate the ever expanding world of information. She specializes in the area of information literacy and instructional design.

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