The Research Process:

steps to effective, efficient research

If any of these steps are unfamiliar visit the related module, shown in parenthesis) to learn more:

1. Start by defining your purpose/goal. This step includes defining the initial topic and starting a keyword list. (see Choose and Explore a Topic, Search Strategies)

2. Get an overview of your topic and collect background information by looking up your keywords in encyclopedias and scanning the articles. Subject-specific encyclopedias are particularly useful for this step. You may also want to perform a quick web search -- but keep it quick! You don't want to get bogged down with too many details yet. (see Encyclopedias)

After your initial topic scan, your topic should be more refined and you should have a useful list of keywords. Time to start collecting information. You may choose any or all of the following steps, depending on your project, in any order:

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