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Research Process

Research Basics

Research is...

  • Driven by a question that guides the process. 

  • Seeking information with a clear goal. 

  • A process, which works best when done step- by-step. The steps may need to be repeated. 

  • Collection and interpretation of data in an attempt to resolve the problem. 

  • Going beyond facts and old ideas. 

  • Taking a new look at the information and taking a stand. 


Photo of young man studying images of the moon

Ferguson, Retha. “Crop African American student studying craters of moon on tablet at observatory.” Pexels, 22 Feb. 2020. Accessed 25 August 2020.

Research is not: 


  • Copying and pasting information you find through a Google search. 


  • Combining a paragraph from one article with a couple of paragraphs from websites. That's plagiarism. 


  • Rearranging facts 


  • Rewording each phrase and citing each source. That's just a summary of facts with someone else's name on them and still can be classified as plagiarism. 

Words for the wise student:  


  • Remember, begin with a "wide net" and then narrow your search results. 


  • If you only look for specific information to answer a specific question, you may miss many opportunities to broaden your understanding. 


  • Allow for surprises- you may find your views on your topic will change and take you in an entirely new direction. 


  • Remember that research is searching again and again. 


  • In the process of doing research, you will be looking at information that others have looked at before, trying to see something that they have not seen. 


Taken from : “Research Process Demystified @ Pitt: Research Process.” LibGuides, Accessed 22nd May 2020.