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Research is not three easy steps. It requires identifying, choosing, analyzing, and evaluating many sources of information. This libguide will explain how to do research.
Last Updated: Sep 11, 2012 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Write a statement about your topic...

that explains the focus of your topic and takes into account the requirements of the assignment.

Is this topic statement easy for others to understand?

Having trouble? Try these ideas.

Find a definition of your topic in an unabridged dictionary or encyclopedia.

Do a Google Scholar Search using terms that you think are related to the topic.

Create a list of:
Requirements of the assignment. If your instructor says you can only use:

then you have to take that into account when finding your information.

Find information on your topic.. by using all of the resources available to you:
Find information on your topic by using the list you created for
keyword searches in :
online resources
tables of contents


Using the information
Review the information you have found, and use it to make some decisions about how to proceed.
Refine your topic.
-make it a more specific topic
-switch to a related topic
-you are right on point so keep your topic the same
Analyze the information gathered.
Make lists of:
-Important events and dates
-specific places
-specific people
-controversies or conclusions
Review the bibliographies of
articles and books to get more sources.
List all of the resources you have reviewed:
-Decide which resources are best
-Decide which are deadends
Evaluate your information
Do you have enough information?
Too much?
Do you need to go back and gather
more information to support a point? 
Expand your ideas
Using the information you have gathered, can you develop subtopics that will support your topic statement?
Organize lists and take notes
Keep track of what information
came from what source
Record the page numbers of the
sources in your notes
Continue to sort and sift as you
read and take notes. 
Does your information flow in a logical order?
Are there gaps?
Do you have all the information you need?




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