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BMHS Library Research: What are the steps?

What is research?

Do you know what research is?  Maybe you think it's copying some facts down from a website.  Research isn't about restating facts.  Research involves gathering information from sources such as books, websites, magazines, and videos and creating something new and original.

Here are 6 steps to consider when doing any kind of research.   They are:

EXPLORE - Take time to learn more about the topic you are researching.  Learn more about it from books, videos, websites or other sources.  Don't take any notes just immerse yourself in the topic.

IDENTIFY - Once you've explored a bit, begin to narrow your topic, formulate questions and identify possible sources of information. 

  • Narrowed your topic. -- For example : Football -- This is a very large topic.  So you may want to narrow it down to Football injuries, Football history, Formation of Professional Football or even a specific Football player.
  • Formulate questions about your topic.  You should have one main question about your topic. This is your Thick question and you will focus your research on answering this question.  The other questions will be THIN questions.  These questions will help you research the larger question (THICK).  For example if you've decide to research football injuries.  A THICK QUESTION - HOW DOES THE IMPACT OF PLAYING FOOT BALL CONTRIBUTE TO PLAYERS INJURIES? A THINK QUESTION COULD BE - WHAT TYPES OF INJURIES ARE MOST COMMON IN FOOTBALL?   
  • Identify sources you can use to locate information.  A source is any place you find facts/data about or topic.  Some typical sources include: Books, Magazine and Journal Articles, Websites, Databases, Images, Recordings, the list goes on......

GATHER - This is where you will begin to take notes from your sources about your topic.  When taking notes, it is important not to plagiarize.  You must learn to paraphrase your information in your notes.  Paraphrasing means to rewrite the information into your notes using your own words.  If you think it's important to directly quote the sources, then you must enclosed this information in quotation marks and place an in-line citation and/or footnote next to it to show where  you obtain this information.   

CREATE - At this point in the process, you will begin to take the information from your notes, and share it in some format.  Typical formats include research papers, essays, videos, podcasts, and posters.  There are many ways to create something new from your information.   Your teacher may guide you at this point by requiring a specific product.

SHARE - Now it's time for you to shine.  This is where you take all of your research and share it with others.  You may share it orally in class or visually.  

REFLECT - Work is now complete but now it's time to look back and ponder how you could have done better.  Evaluate the process and make changes so that the next time the research process becomes easier and better for you.

Watch the Videos WHAT IS RESEARCH? below to learn more about the process.