Research is a process of investigation. An examination of a subject from different points of view. It’s not just a trip to the library to pick up a stack of materials, or choosing the first five hits from a Google search. Research is a hunt for quality information. It is getting to know a subject by reading up on it, reflecting, and playing with ideas.
The key to genuine research is a good research question that addresses a problem calling for analysis. Answering a research question requires that you use information, that is, data as a tool and not as a goal.
Data as a Goal is simply finding everything you can about a topic and explaining what you read.
Data as a tool is finding out the basics about your topic, identifying a problem or issue related to that topic, and then trying to solve the problem or issue.
Typical Steps in the Research Process
Many students today are successful using computers to search the Internet. But few understand database searching well enough to do it effectively. Worry not, you are about to discover a few things that will help you.
A database is used for finding citations to articles in periodicals (that is: journals, magazines, newspapers).
is an important step. You need to choose a database that covers your topic, type of publication, as well as the dates you need. You can view and search all our databases from this page.
Here is a video that illustrates how to search a database.
Boolean searches allow you to combine words and phrases using the words AND, OR, NOT (known as Boolean operators) to limit, broaden, or define your search. A good researcher should know how to do a Boolean Search.
In addition to the above Boolean illustration, the videos below are also helpful.