This guide gives you helpful strategies on how to start and finish your research paper. Below is a pdf file.
A 9-Step Process for Acquiring and Organizing Information for Your Research Assignment
BEFORE YOU START
1. WRITE A TOPIC OVERVIEW
What do you already know about your topic? Write it down. All of it. This will give you a place to begin and an idea of how much work is ahead of you.
2.DEFINE YOUR TASK(S)
What are the requirements of the project? In other words, what are the necessary ingredients for you to achieve success? Examples may include one or more of the following:
A. Fact Finding (gathering and presenting information)
B. Information Analysis (examining, interpreting and explaining information)
C. Persuasion (influencing your audience to view information as you do)
D. Problem Solving (presenting information about a crisis and its resolution)
3. FORMULATE QUESTIONS
Example: What are the primary causes of global warming?
A. Use your questions to make a list of keywords. These can be used later when you start your research, especially with online resources.
Note: Use your key words to make a list of synonyms as well as related, broader, and narrower search terms.
Example: The key word or term in the example question is global warming. A synonym would be greenhouse effect and a related term might be ozone depletion.
4. SET GOALS
A. What do you want your audience to learn from the information you are presenting?
B. What is the best way to present that information?
Example: A study of global warming shows that the causes are both naturally occurring and man-made.
5. SELECT YOUR RESOURCES
I. Which include the most information?
II. Which are the most accurate?
III. Which are easiest to use?
IV. Which are fastest?
Example: Search engines are fairly simple to use, but results often lack accuracy and finding reputable sources can be difficult and time consuming.
6. GATHER INFORMATION
7. EVALUATE YOUR INFORMATION
A. Will it help you to complete your tasks?
B. Does your research answer all or most of your questions?
C. Will your research allow you to attain your goals and prove the points in your thesis statement?
Note: If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” you may need to do more research, review your information to find more answers, or weed out information that will not be helpful.
8. COORDINATE YOUR INFORMATION
9. PRODUCE YOUR FINAL PRODUCT
EBSCO Publishing. (2008). Recipe for research. Ipwich, MA: Author.
For more helpful information regarding research, visit www.ebscohost.com/success_center.