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Research is a Process

The Research Process

(The graphic shows 5 steps of the research process arranged around in a cyclical, circular way, instead of a linear way)

Research is an iterative process. Instead of straightforward and linear, it is repetitive and cyclical. As you move through the steps to learn, you should modify and revise your strategies. Don't be afraid to return to an earlier step to reset your process!

  1. Your Question (your information need, aka thesis or topic)
  2. Find Background Info (Wikipedia, Textbooks, Books, Newspapers, Google)
  3. Find Materials (UO LibrarySearch, Library Databases, Bibliographies, Google Scholar) (TIP: Are you finding enough relevant sources? If not, you may need to return to step 1 and refine your topic.)
  4. Read & Evaluate (Ask the 6 question words - who, what, where, when, why, how - to determine if the source is good) (TIP: Think! Are your sources the best evidence to support your argument? If not, return to step 3.)
  5. Organize, Write, & Cite (Citation software can help: Endnote, Mendeley, Zotero) (TIP: Synthesize and take good notes! Don't fall victim to plagiarism when you write.)

Use the side navigation to learn more about each step.

University of Oregon Libraries
1501 Kincaid Street Eugene, OR
97403-1299
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