Welcome to the Research Process
The purpose of this guide is to acquaint you with resources available through the Kirk Library and to assist you with the research process. Tips on choosing and developing your topic, locating and evaluating information in a variety of sources, and creating citations are included.
This guide is especially useful for English 102 classes and any others where a research paper or presentation is required.
Research Process Overview
Generally, you move from one step to the next in your research. However, research is a dynamic process, and there may be times when you need to change direction. That's why they call it "re-search": you search and search again. Like writing, it's seldom once and done. And just like writing, it gets easier the more you do it.
Research Steps Simplified:
Step 1. Choose and develop a topic
Step 2. Locate information
Step 3. Analyze and evalutate information and sources
Step 4. Use, organize, and communicate information
Step 5. Cite sources
Can't this paper just write itself?
We're Here to Help
Look over to the far right and you'll see some of the librarians who are here to help you with your research.
Library staff are information specialists, and we want to assist you to become successful students and lifelong learners. We love hunting for information and helping students, so ASK US!
Ask a Librarian
Talk to a Librarian
In person at the Ask Here Desk!
Chat with a Librarian
Use QP Chat to chat online with a librarian. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! (We belong to a network of worldwide librarians who love to help.)
Email a Librarian
Send us an email any time and receive a response within 1-3 business days.
Surviving Library Anxiety
Many students are put off by the complexity of the library and the number of resources we have. Here are several things to remember that will help you:
- You don't have to be an expert to use the library, only willing to learn.
- There are no "dumb" questions, only unasked ones. Save time by asking questions early.
- You will only be dealing with a small part of the library and its materials at any given moment, and you don't have to understand it all at once. There is a system to it, which is more evident with practice.
- Most of the time, the research process is cyclical, not linear. In other words, you try something, it works moderately well, you go back and alter your strategy a bit and try again.
- Practice improves performance--true for everything, right?
- Start early to give yourself time.
- Ask for help-- from friends, from instructors, and from the librarians at the Ask Here Desk.
Librarians are nice, and they are not at all like the one in the YouTube below.