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How Do I Start My Research?

The Research Process

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This guide was adapted from IUPUI and added to by Bristol Library Learning Commons

Indiana University Purdue University at Indianappolis (IUPUI) Library Research Guide on The Research Process by IUPUI Librarians is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The Information Cycle


Long description of the infographic can be found Information Cycle Description.

How to Use this Guide

How to use this guide

Research is an iterative process, meaning individual steps may be repeated multiple times. The graphic below shows one way that we can do research, but it doesn't look the same for everyone. The research process is non-linear and often messy. As you go through this guide, you should feel free to jump back and forth between steps as you see fit or to come up with a process that works better for you. We also recommend you track your process in a way that makes sense to you so that you can remember where and how you did your searches in case you need to revisit them, or in order to avoid getting stuck in a research rut like always trying the same databases even though they might not be the ideal ones for your research question.


Understanding Your Assignment

First, you must understand your assignment and what your professor is looking for.   Please visit this page in the guide to review how to make sure you understand what the assignment is all about.   Understanding the Assignment

Where does information come from?


Watch this quick video to learn about where information comes from.