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researchsteps: Home


Steps for Research

Step 1: Explore  

(At this stage you may feel:  Overwhelmed and optimistic)

  1. Initiate the research process.
  2. Build background knowledge.
  3. Explore the information landscape and identify resources.
  4. Create and refine your research question.

Step 2: Investigate

(At this stage you may feel:  Anxiety, confusion, doubt)

  1. Design a plan.
  2. Use search strategies, resources, and inquiry tools (ex Research log).
  3. Evaluate sources using CRAAP
    1. Currency
    2. Relevance
    3. Authority
    4. Accuracy
    5. Purpose
  4. Summarize important information and take notes.
  5. Practice ethics and cite sources.
  6. Reflect (and collaborate?).

Step 3: Process

(At this stage you may feel:  Increased interest and confidence)

  1. Analyze information.
  2. Synthesize ideas (using language of the field?).
  3. Organize information.
  4. Evaluate to go beyond facts and make meaning/knowledge.
  5. Apply new knowledge.

Step 4: Create/Share

(At this stage you may feel:  Relief and satisfaction or disappointment)

  1. Create a product with academic integrity/proper citations.
  2. Present ideas and conclusions to audience(s) [i.e Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as a member of a democratic society].
  3. Reflect and evaluate research process and product.


taken from:

Queen’s University Library and Baltimore County Public Schools Research Guide and Carol Kuhlthau’s “Model of the Information Search Process



Use our subscription version of NoodleTools to create accurate bibliographies!  NoodleTools allows students to cite, archive and evaluate sources, organize notes, and outline.  The 'Sharing and Collaboration' function allows students and teachers/advisors to work together on a project.


There are many features that make NoodleTools a terrific research helper.  Take advantage of the option in your account profile ("My Account" - "My Profile") to display "Show Me" help screens for source checking and for help finding the information required for source evaluation with the CRAAP test.  Check out the Help Bubbles offered when making a citation.


Guided Inquiry Design Framework Presentation

Picking your Topic IS Research

From North Carolina State University

"When you pick your topic, it's not set in stone. Picking and adjusting your topic is an integral part of the research process!"

Developing a Research Question

One Perfect Source?

From North Carolina State University

"Your topic seemed so great! So why can't you find any information on it? If you're looking for an all-in-one source that addresses your topic perfectly, you might need a different approach"