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Research Guide

How to do research for an academic paper.

The Research Process

  • Research involves acquiring, interpreting and synthesizing information in order to address a specific information need.
  • Through research, you will be able to find gaps in your knowledge and understanding of a topic, and your ability to think critically about information and its sources will improve.
  • The research process is not a straight line from point A to point B... it is more of a cyclical process. At any point in the process you may realize a need to revise your topic, focus on a different aspect of the topic, revise your search strategy or find additional sources to fill in information gaps.
  • Research will probably take more time than actually writing your paper... therefore, don't procrastinate. Getting started on the research process right away is the best idea!
  • Your research paper should demonstrate your understanding of how the various sources of information you've gathered all tie together. You will combine the information into a logical, cohesive whole, including your own insights and analysis about the topic.
  • Taking notes during the research process is essential. You can print out and use the Research Worksheet to assist you.

The Research Process