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Academic Success Center > Writing Center > Student Resource > Research Process
Steps in the Research Process
  1. Understand your assignment and start the process early
    • Leave yourself plenty of time for each step of the process.  This is a link to a Research Paper Calculator to keep you on schedule.
  1. Formulate your question
    • Find a question that interests you.
    • If you can find a topic in your major it could help you later on in your academic career.
  1. Identify the best resources (databases, searches, engines, etc.) to find information on your topic
  1. Do preliminary research to make sure your question is viable and to make sure it fits within the scope of the assignment
    • If there is a requirement for academic journals or other specific types of materials make sure there is enough on your topic.
    • If you don’t have enough information you may have to change your question. If that is the case, find this out early.
  1. Refine your search question (make sure your search is narrow enough)
  1. Conduct an organized search for evidence for your question
  1. Locate your materials.  Order materials not held locally via Interlibrary Loan (ask a librarian if you need help with this)
  1. Sort and label the materials and create a working list of the materials you will or may use for your paper
  1. Analyze your materials
  1. Organize and write the paper
  1. Cite your sources and create your final bibliography using a standard format
  1. Ask a friend, mentor, and/or partent to proofread the paper for you. A second set of eyes is always helpful in the research process.

  2. Proofread it again before turning it in

By Owen Williams, UMC Library