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ARTH100 Prof. Lien: The Research Process

THE RESEARCH PROCESS

Doing good research is an iterative process: going back and re-working your topic, keywords and thesis statement, again and again, until it fits your needs.

The Research Process Booklet, below, contains valuable information on how to search, and how to evaluate what you find.

 If you get stuck at any point in your research, please contact a librarian or your instructor. We want to help you!

Understand Your Assignment

Before you begin work on your research project, make sure you and your professor are on the same page about what is expected. That is, make sure you understand your assignment. If you are not clear about something, talk to him/her about it.

The Information Cycle

Understanding the Information Cycle will let you know what kind of information is available to you at a particular point in time. It can also help you to understand the differences between different types of sources e.g. magazines vs. journals.

Scholarly and Non-Scholarly Sources

In your college career, you will be expected to know the differences between Scholarly & Non-Scholarly articles. If, after watching the video and reading the handout, you still have questions, see your instructor or a librarian and they will help you.

What is Critical Thinking?

One definition of a critical thinker is someone who can "make use of information that's available in their journey to arrive at a conclusion or decision."

Two components of thinking critically consists of gaining domain knowledge - knowing a lot about your subject - and practice. What does this mean for you? Read and learn as much as you can, about many different things, and practice your research skills.

Narrow/Refine Your Topic

If you are having trouble finding information, you may need to refine or narrow your topic. Research is not linear - you may have to change your keywords and re-work your research question based on the information you locate.

Primary & Secondary Sources

In your college career, you will be expected to know the differences between Primary & Secondary Sources. If, after watching the video and reading the handout, you still have questions, see your instructor or a librarian and they will help you.

Write a Thesis Statement

You thesis statement tells your readers what your position is on a topic, and gives them a snapshot of your research paper. It consists of your topic, your position on your topic, and the evidence-based reasons for your position.