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Introduction to Library Research: Steps in the Research Process

A video presentation on starting your research using the resources at the Macdonald-Kelce Library at The University of Tampa.

Steps in the Research Process

  • This guide is intended to help students better understand the process of conducting secondary research for writing their own original academic papers.
  • Secondary research involves gathering, synthesizing, and analyzing existing research available in books, articles, statistical sources or other published data.
  • A research paper is not summary or merely accumulating facts. 
  • Research should expand our understanding of the known world and build upon previous scholarship or offer new insights based on critical evaluation of evidence.
  • Steps in the Research Process:

  • It may be necessary to revisit some of these steps as you progress in your research.
  • You may find that your initial expectations are not supported, new questions arise, or there are gaps in the research.
  • Flexibility, following the trail of evidence, and reflecting on different ways to phrase or frame your topic are invaluable in dealing with the challenges of research.
  • Cultivating the skills needed to be an effective researcher are integral to professional success and informed citizenship.