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.