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Scholarly Research Tutorial: A. The Research Process

Wondering where to start finding sources for a paper? Not sure where to go beyond Google? Start here for a quick tutorial in effective research methods for scholarly papers.

The Research Process

Though the research process can feel messy and overwhelming, it actually consists of 5 predictable steps. Following them is a way to organize your thoughts, direct your work, save time, and get your hands on the sources you need to complete your paper. 

The beauty of these 5 steps is that once you know them, you can apply them anywhere. If you're writing an academic essay about theme parks, you can use these steps. If you're researching a health concern for a family member, you can use these steps. If you want to find out about buying a new car, YOU CAN USE THESE STEPS. Learn them, use them, and love them! (We'll settle for the first two.)

You can think about the 5 steps as a road map to the research process. They'll guide you through any project or topic as long as you follow the map! 

The rest of this tutorial covers these steps in detail:

  1. 1B: Analyze your topic
  2. 1E and 2A: Select the right research tool
  3. 2A, 2B, 2C, and 2D: Conduct your search
  4. 4A: Evaluate the results
  5. 4B: Retrieve your resources