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How to do research

How to do research

Research is a dynamic process that can be organized into four stages: Exploring, Investigating, Processing, and Creating.

As you work through a research project, you may move back and forth between these stages as your understanding evolves.


Start with what you know about the topic, and use this as a starting point for developing deeper research questions.

Explore many resources and ideas before settling on your topic.

The best place to start your exploration is with factual reference sources, in print and online.

Setting up a research portfolio will help you to organize your work.


This is the stage where you need to narrow the focus of your research and explore resources and ideas more deeply.

Familiarise yourself with the range of relevant resources available to you in the university library and beyond.

Developing a variety of search strategies will help you find deeper information.


Taking good notes is essential to good research.

Be accountable for the information you have gathered by keeping track of your sources.

Answering your research questions is key: sort through the information that you've gathered and decide what is key.

Your research will have introduced you to multiple perspectives on the issues you are examining: consider these other ideas as you formulate your own.

Critical thinking and analysis is what research is all about: consider what perspective you can add to the issues you are studying.

Other key considerations

  • Find the right supervisor
  • Prepare a project timeline
  • Choose a topic that has a manageable amount of information
  • Remember to always Cite your sources properly
  • Proofread
  • Be original

First stages of research
Basic steps research process
How do research project 6 steps

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