Research Process

1. Define the Research Problem

  • Thesis statement

  • Keywords (see book, Successful Keyword Searching) (use thesaurus for descriptors)

  • Mind maps

  • Group brainstorming

  • Consult library reference book collection (Who? What? Where? When?)

  • See these web sites for collections of free reference books

  • In answering basic "Who? What? Where? And When?" questions, you will want to:

    • Use encyclopedias for overview

    • Use dictionaries for definitions of terms

    • Use directories for locating experts in the field or identifying important publications in a specialized subject field (e.g., Encyclopedia of Business Information Sources)

    • Use handbooks for reviews of issues in a specialized field

    • Use almanacs for statistics

2. Locate Information Resources and Conduct Literature Review (Why? How?)

  • Use DeVry University Library Voyager catalog to locate books on a subject at the South Florida campus (LC subject headings, LC classification) or consult netLibrary for e-books

  • Use DeVry University databases for full-text magazine and newspaper articles (e.g., ProQuest 5000)

  • Does your problem require that you conduct primary research rather than rely on secondary sources such as books? (Examples: A survey of classmates or conducting interviews with experts)

3. Take Notes from Relevant Books, Articles (Secondary Research)

  • Use MS Word to prepare notes from important readings.

  • Ideas taken verbatim should be enclosed in quotes and the source cited in your notes (author, title, publisher, date, pages, etc.) Preventing plagiarism of an author's ideas during this phase is crucial.

  • Use a standard style manual such as the MLA Stylesheet or the APA Manual.

4. Prepare an Outline of Your Findings/Solutions/Conclusions

  • Major headings required for paper with sub-headings in a logical arrangement.

5. Prepare First Draft of Paper (consult the necessary style manual for format)

6. Prepare Final Draft of Paper with Quotations, Citations and References

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