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ENG 101: A Word or Two About the Research Process

A Library Guide in support of Introductory Writing Courses at Wor-Wic

About the Research Process



For many beginning researchers, it is easy to want to focus on finding the one or two “best” articles; the ones whose topic, argument, and/or conclusions fit into your thesis perfectly. But something to keep in mind is that searching through databases for useful information is an iterative process -- an act that one repeats over and over (refining it a little bit more each time) until one reaches the desired outcome.


As I’m sure you know, digitally searching for information (whether via general search engines such as Google or Bing or using academic databases) can be a very frustrating activity. The important thing is not to give up! If your first set of keywords doesn’t get you what you need, try expanding or narrowing them. Remember, the Resource Center is here to help! Chat, email, or come in and talk to us for assistance.


Also, you should probably keep a record of your search process. Which databases you’ve tried, which keywords you’ve used, and the results that occurred. That way, when you return to your research you’ll already have some sense of the databases you might want to explore further (perhaps with some different keywords) and those you don’t need to return to.