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Research Basics

Develop a topic, use the library catalog and databases, evaluate and cite sources.

Introducing the Research Process

Research Step-by-Step

These are the steps of the research process:

  1. Choose and develop a research topic.
  2. Find information sources in a variety of formats.
  3. Evaluate your sources for relevance, authority, and credibility.
  4. Combine research with prior knowledge to create something new.
  5. Cite your sources according to the assigned bibliographic style.

Research as a Linear Process

If research was a liner process we would move through the steps in a a straightforward progression, starting with choosing a topic and ending with citing our sources.

Linear research process

Research as a Recursive Process

But as we locate, evaluate, and integrate those sources, sometimes we need to repeat steps as we refine our product, making this a recursive process rather than a linear one.

Recursive research process

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