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Getting Started with Research: An Overview of the Process

A guide through the library research process. Contact a librarian for more!

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outline of a person's profile with a question mark placed inside where their brain would beIf you have questions about the research process or get stuck, please contact a librarian. We are here to help you be successful in your projects and assignments! 

Attribution ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) License

This guide has a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) License.

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This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.

Research is a Process (Infographic)

Research is an iterative process, meaning it's repetitive but you learn as you move forward and make changes. It's more cyclical than straightforward or linear. Use the side navigation to learn about each of the steps of the process, and don't be afraid to jump around between steps.

The "Research is a Process" infographic: Follow the "long description" infographic link for a web accessible description.

Long description of "Research is a process" infographic for web accessibility

Thanks to IUPUI University Library for allowing remix of this graphic under a Creative Commons license.

Learn about the Scholarly Conversation

Comic Strip: "When academics argue" showing two people sitting at an outdoor cafe each saying "Something I read..." over and over to each other

"When academics argue" by Wulff & Morgenthaler, Used for educational purposes only.

What is the Scholarly Conversation?

"Communities of scholars, researchers, or professionals engage in sustained discourse with new insights and discoveries occurring over time as a result of varied perspectives and interpretations. Research in scholarly and professional fields is a discursive practice in which ideas are formulated, debated, and weighed against one another over extended periods of time."

"Instead of seeking discrete answers to complex problems, experts understand that a given issue may be characterized by several competing perspectives as part of an ongoing conversation in which information users and creators come together and negotiate meaning." Depending on your discipline, this scholarly conversation usually occurs primarily in journals, although books also play a role.

As students, you are invited to enter into this scholarly conversation. Your research provides an entry point for you to engage with a community of scholars in your field. You do this by reading the works of others, building upon their ideas, attributing credit when necessary, and perhaps even publishing your own work.

Check out this tutorial from Fairfield University to learn more:

Understanding Assignments (Video Tutorial)

This short video from the UNC Writing Center will help you understand how to use your assignment to understand where to begin with a research project.

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