Research Steps -- How It Works
1. Read about a broad topic with "peripheral vision," looking for subtopics and important terms. You may choose to check reference sources and video for context as you get familiar with a subject.
2. Identify focused questions you are interested in investigating (See Asking Good Questions)
3. Gather a working source list.
4. Take notes on note cards or use NoodleTools
5. Look for patterns of information in your sources, your notes, your notecards.
6. Develop clear and focused preliminary thesis. (See Developing a Thesis)
7. Gather information and evaluate the sources of information. (See Selecting and Evaluating Sources) (See Distinguishing Among Scholarly, Popular, and Trade Publications). Have you gathered a variety of quality materials? Have you gathered both primary and secondary sources? (Note: For Language Arts projects, Your primary source may be the literary work you are analyzing.)
8. Identify strong supporting points and rank them, making certain that the research and logical reasoning support them. Make sure that the evidence you collected is strong and that is directly supports your thesis.
9. Develop an outline or storyboard or construct a visual organizing tool to organize your ideas and evidence. You may choose to use Inspiration or any of many Web-based (See MindMapping, Graphing, Timeling Tools tools.)
10. Prepare a rough draft WITHOUT USING NOTES, making sure that your own voice as a writer is clear.
11. Add research documentation to the draft. (See In-Text Documentation) (If annotations are required, use this model as a guide.
12. Revise the draft.
13. Have a classmate or friend peer review your work.
14. Revise the draft.
15. Edit the draft.
16. Prepare, proofread, and submit the final copy.
17. If your teacher requires it, upload a copy of your work to Turnitin.com.
Remember, you may ask for help anywhere along the way!
"Research Steps" is taken directly from Joyce Valenza and the the Springfield Township High School Virtual Library website.