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6 Stages of Research

Walk through the different stages of the research process, breaking each step down into manageable and concrete action. This guide includes topic brainstorming, creating a research plan, finding information, taking notes, and citation.

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The purpose of this step is to evaluate your own work.

Your professor assigns you a research paper because they want you to learn about a topic, but also because they want you to learn how to think. Research papers and projects not only teach you how to find a good answer to a question when you are out in the real world, they also teach you how to weigh conflicting evidence, organize your thoughts, and combine personal experience, world view, and evidence in a way that allows you to be proud of and believe in your own answer. For this reason, reflection on the process is a key component to actually learning about how to write a research paper. 

Reread your paper

  • Does your argument make sense?
  • Did you support your claims with evidence?
  • Did any section seem unnecessary to your argument?
  • Did it feel like there were sections missing?
  • What do you like about your paper?

Think about your research process

  • Did you give yourself enough time to find good resources?
  • Did you have to switch up your keywords at any point?
  • Did you have trouble going back and finding the articles you were citing?
  • What could you have done differently to make this process better?
  • What did you do well?

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