The following steps give you a broad framework for conducting research. Remember, they do not have to be followed one after the other. You might skip back and forth between various steps as you read and critically evaluate the information you are using in your research project.
1. Define your research question. Refer to my page on ‘The Research Question’ for further guidance
2. Ask for help. There is no need for you to struggle. I’m here to help you make the best possible use of the library and its resources.
3. Develop a research strategy and find resources. What resources (books, magazines, newspapers, encyclopedia, internet sites etc), and tools (catalogues, databases) will you use? Hint – ask the Librarian or your teacher.
4. Use effective search techniques. There is a wealth of information for you to choose from. How will you select what is relevant? Do you know how to use Boolean Logic? What keywords will you use?
5. Read critically.
6. Cite Sources. Do you know about plagiarism? If not, refer to the ‘plagiarism’ pages on this blog. Do you know about the ‘peer review’ process? Do you know how to cite sources?
7. Critically evaluate sources. Do you know how to critically evaluate print and web sources of information? Have a look at my guidance sheets if you don’t.
* Source: Stebbins, Leslie F. Student Guide To Research In The Digital Age: How To Locate and Evaluate Information Sources. Libraries Unlimited. 2006