My research step-by-step

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You have an assignment to do, but you are not sure how and where to start your research?

The information below is meant to guide you through your research process by listing and explaining the traditional steps of a research.

Also, watch this short video as a brief overview on the subject.

If you need further learning support, please contact Andrew Keohane.

(Please note: use a laptop to see the following presentations in full screen)

1. Before the search

Identify - What information do I need?

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First of all, what is information need?

When you receive an assignment, you may know only little about the topic. The first question you will ask yourself is:

“What do I need to know?”

By answering this question, you will automatically be bridging the gap between what you already know and what you need to know about the topic, to be able to submit a satisfactory paper.

It is necessary to spend some time on this first information literacy process.

2. The research process

Find and access - Where can I find the information I need and how will I get there?

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You are now able to formulate a search question, identify keywords as well as equivalent words to help you during this 2nd step.

The question you need to ask yourself here is:

“Where will I look for information?”

By answering this question, you will discover a range of information sources and which one can be useful and relevant or not based on the information needs previously defined in Step 1.

3. After the search

Evaluate - How good is the information I found?

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You have now retrieved information from several sources as you now are able to identify the different information sources as well as where and how to search for information in each source type.


The question you need to ask yourself here is:


“How good is the information I found?”

By answering this question, you will understand the different types of information sources and learn how to determine if the information you retrieved during the Step 2 is reliable and relevant or not.