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Research & Citing: Home

The research process

Remember that the research process is NOT always a straight line from choosing your topic, to finding sources, to writing then revising. As you explore background information or even start to search for articles, you might discover that there are no scholarly articles (if you need scholarly articles) on your topic, or you may discover a different aspect that you'd like to research further. This is all part of the process. This is all research.

Identify your question

Choose a topic

Broaden or narrow your topic

Identify keywords

Explore background information

Encyclopedias and other sources

Find your sources

Prepare a search strategy

Searching a database

Searching by citations

Evaluate what you find

Evaluate the relevance of your sources

Evaluate the quality and credibility of your sources

Determine the types of sources

Evaluate content from the web

Use and cite your sources


Avoid plagiarism


Check out this great video from NC State Libraries about the research process.


UC Santa Cruz Library Start your research

UW Madison Writing Center

U Mich Library Finding and exploring your topic

The OWL at Purdue Research: Where do I begin?

Books about research

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