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ENG 152: Database Searching

The Research Process

The Research Process

  1. Identify your information need (often guided by the requirements of your assignment)
  2. Pre-research (background info, keywords, learn about topic)
  3. Create a research statement or question (often guided by your assignment)
  4. Develop a search strategy. (Where will you look for information? This will depend on your what kind of information you need.)
  5. Search for information. (Choose a search tool and test your keywords.)
  6. Evaluate the sources you find.
  7. Answer question and cite sources

Getting Started


Explore your topic in a library database like Opposing Viewpoints. Use their Browse Issues tool if you need help choosing a research topic. Each topic has a summary, which is a good place to learn more about the topic and find keywords.

Doing some pre-research is important because:

  • You'll find out if enough information exists about your topic for you to do thorough research
  • It will help you refine your topic or lead you to a new aspect of it to explore.
  • It will help you identify more keywords to further your research.