- Driven by a question or problem that then guides the process.
- Seeking information with a clear goal in mind.
- A process, which works best when done step- by-step. The steps may need to be repeated, as the process is reiterative.
- Collection and interpretation of data in an attempt to resolve the problem or answer the question.
- Going beyond facts and old ideas.
- Taking a new look at the information and taking a stand.
Research is not:
- Copying and pasting information you find through a Google search.
- Combining a paragraph from one article with a couple of paragraphs from websites. That's plagiarism.
- Writing a "report."
- Rearranging facts.
- Rewording each phrase and citing each source. That's just a summary of facts with someone else's name on them and still can be classified as plagiarism.
Words for the wise student:
Netcaster. David Douglas Duncan, Mexico, 1937. Photography Collection.
- Remember, begin with a "wide net" in your search and then narrow your search results from there. You will generally find more information than with a very narrow search.
- Don't wear "blinders" as you look for information on your topic. If you only look for specific information to answer a specific question, you may miss many opportunities to broaden your understanding of your topic.
- Allow for surprises- you may find your views on your topic will change and take you in an entirely new direction.
- Remember that research is searching again and again (re - search).
- In the process of doing research, you will be looking at information that others have looked at before, trying to see something that they have not seen.